Man of the Year 
cardinal-egan2His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan Archbishop Emeritus of New York
President’s Award
james-hayes SCA James T. Hayes, Jr. U.S. Department of Homeland Investigations, NYC
Lifetime Achievement Award
konrad-motykaSSA Konrad Motyka President, President Emeritus F.B.I. Agents association
Distinguished Member Award
henry-leshnower Henry Leshnower Executive Secretary FOP Memorial Lodge 100
Profiles in Courage Award
christine-levinson Mrs. Christine Levinson Spouse of FBI SSA Robert Levinson (Ret.) Kidnapped POW by Terrorists
Legislator of the Year
diane-savino Hon. Diane J. Savino New York State Senator
Profiles in Courage Award
tyler-and-carden Caden McGuire
Tyler Seddon
battling with cancer
battling with cancer
Operation Kids Scholarship Recipients
Thomas Matousek
Caroline Kehrli
Michelle Meli
Christine Kehrli
Emelyne Tan

Joseph Barry & Technical Training Center
Bucknell University
William Paterson University
Bucknell University
School of Visual Arts College


The National Police Defense Foundation (NPDF) held its Annual Awards Dinner on May 7, 2014, at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach, New York.  This dinner helps fund the NPDF and its many charitable endeavors. One such program is “Operation Kids”, a multi-faceted child safety program that also provides lifesaving medical treatment for critically ill children. The New York Shields Piper Band and the United States Marine Corps Color Guard opened the ceremony.  

For 2014, the NPDF honored five distinguished honorees, each of whom are well deserving of recognition.

His Emminence Edward Cardinal Egan, the retired Arch-Bishop of New York, was named the NPDF’s “Person of the Year.”  On 9/11, Cardinal Egan responded by spending 5 days at Ground Zero offering spiritual guidance to the First Responders.  Many of these brave men and women, some of whom were members of the NPDF, have since developed chronic illnesses due to their exposure to the various toxins at the Trade Center and have died.  It was they, and also those in attendance, whom the Cardinal praised for making New York City “the safest city in America!”

After his remarks, attendees of the event were thrilled by Egan’s friendly manner and approachability.  One young woman proudly showed to others the Rosary Beads Egan gave her along with a personal Prayer.  

The NPDF’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” was bestowed upon retired FBI Agent Konrad Motyka, who also served as President of the FBI Agents Association.  Agent Motyka is best known for his work confronting “human trafficking.”  In this criminal enterprise, traffickers coerce impoverished men and women into taking out “loans” from the gang leaders, who then smuggle them into America.  Once here, the low wages earned by these immigrants make it impossible to pay back the loan in full.  Thus, these immigrants are virtual “slaves” to the traffickers.

Receiving the NPDF’s “President’s Award” was James T. Hayes, Jr., the Special Agent in Charge of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations in the City of New York.  Hayes’ work is critical to America’s National Security. Hayes is also renown nationwide for his Courage in taking on his own superiors regarding the workplace issue of Gender discrimination.  

The NPDF’s “Legislator of the Year” award was bestowed on the Honorable Diane J. Savino of the New York State Senate.  Senator Savino may not wear a Badge nor carry a Service Revolver, but the stroke of her Pen as a Legislator has proved as Mighty as any Sword.  Such work on the Senator’s part has enacted stiffer penalties against Employers who unlawfully withhold from workers the compensation that they have earned.  Senator Savino has also secured increased benefits for the spouses of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.  

Henry Leshnower, Executive Secretary of the FOP Memorial Lodge 100, was the recipient of the NPDF’s “Distinguished Member Award.”  Leshnower became a New York City Police Officer in 1967 but had to retire after being injured while performing a rescue operation during a fire in 1981.  Leshnower since his retirement has devoted much of his time providing support services to the families of members of law enforcement killed in the line of duty.  Leshnower has done this through several organizations, and for this commitment to service, the NPDF chose to include the retired cop in such fine company as those noted above.   

In attendance for the Awards Dinner were family members of White Plains Police Officer Michael R. Perry, who died on June 12, 2010, after a foot chase and altercation with a career criminal.  Also in attendance was a crowd favorite, Mike Sheehan, a former NYPD Detective – best known for his work on the “Preppy Murder” case that shocked America in the 1980s.  After his retirement, Sheehan has enjoyed a second career as a Journalist. 

This year’s Awards Dinner was also attended by NPDF members from around the world, a reflection of the International scope the Foundation has attained since it’s inception.  Among those notables was Chairman Liu Wei, the NPDF’s Delegate to China, who generously gave a $10,000 donation to the Foundation.  

Reported by J. R. de Szigethy