In the evening of May 3, 2017, the National Police Defense Foundation celebrated its 2017 Annual Awards Dinner that benefits their “Operation Kids” program.

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It was a complete sell-out with over four hundred and fifty guests attending which included representatives from over twenty different police and fraternal organizations.
The celebration took place at “Russo’s on the Bay” in Howard Beach, New York, the renowned ItalianAmerican caterer who offered an hour and a half cocktail hour with gourmet dishes and all types of specialty cocktails.

The awards presentation started with a procession from the New York Port Authority Police Honor Guard, followed by the New York State Shields Pipe & Drum Band, pledge of allegiance by the children of U.S. Postal Inspector Eric Malecki, a masterful rendition of the National Anthem by renowned award winning singer Cristina Fontanelli and an invocation by NYPD Deputy Chief Chaplain Monsignor Robert Romano.

There were many congratulatory letters sent from elected officials and key law enforcement agencies recognizing honorees that included U.S. Senators from New York and Pennsylvania, the Governors of New York-New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the New York Senate and General Assembly the Police Commissioners from the New York City Police Department, Port Authority Police of New York and the New Jersey and New Jersey State Police, among others.

The NPDF Founder and Executive Director Joseph Occhipinti welcomed the guests and proudly boasted about the important role the NPDF $10,000 Safe Cop Reward Program is playing to address. the serious increase of armed assaults against our police and continued efforts to protect and support law enforcement.
The National Police Defense Foundation granted four college scholarship and presented a fifth scholarship to the FDNY Columbia Association Scholarship program in memory of slain Firefighter William Tolly..

President Jack Holder and the NPDF Executive Board presented the honorees with their respective awards in recognition of their lifelong accomplishment, valor and meritorious and public service. The honorees also received legislative proclamations from Members of Congress, the New York Senate and New Jersey Senate and General Assembly.

It was a special moment of silence when Joseph Occhipinti announced the presentation of the Valor Awards for Arizona Trooper Edward Andersson who was shot on January 12, 2017 by a crazed gunman and Thomas Yoxall, the good Samaritan who saved the life of the trooper by shooting and killing the suspect with a licensed firearm. It has been one of the first times in their lives that their bravery was recognized with a standing ovation.

The evening’s festivities were then followed by a choice of seven gourmet meals and a venetian hour that offered gelato, pastries, popcorn, cotton candy and other sweets. The guests seemed to take advantage of the photo booth, the silent auction and tricky tray that offered over fifty donated gifts.

The NPDF Executive Board thanked the guest and honorees for attending and encouraged all in attendance to become members and attend next year’s awards dinner that would similarly honor true American heroes well deserving of recognition.


Michael Essig, President
New York State Fraternal Order of Police

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Lt. Karl Milligan (Ret)
Prince George’s County Police Department

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Hon. Bridget G. Brennan
NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor

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Trooper Edward Andersson
Arizona Department of Public Safety

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SAC Bruce Sackman (Ret)
U.S. Veterans Administration, OIG
President, Society of Professional Investigators
Special Agent in Charge, US Vet. Admin. (Ret)

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Thomas Yoxall
State of Arizona



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Click this link and enter the password NPDF2017 to see pictures from the Photo Booth