|SSA Joseph Occhipinti||Founder & Executive Director
US Department of Justice, INS (Ret)
Joe Occhipinti's Bio
Joseph Occhipinti is a native New Yorker where his desire to be involved in community service led him to a career in law enforcement. He graduated from Brooklyn College after attending night classes that earned him a Bachelor of Arts degree.
In January 1969, Joe joined the United States Army Reserves where he served as a Military Policeman in the 812 M.P. Company at Fort Hamilton, New York and was honorably discharged six years later.
In 1974, Joe became the elected President of the Federal Agents’ Police Benevolent Association where, for eighteen years, he developed that fledgling association into one of the largest federal police organizations in the tristate area. He was credited with the introduction and passage of a New York-New Jersey law that granted peace officer status to federal agents.
In 1976, Joe transferred to the Immigration & Naturalization Service and became one of the country’s foremost experts on ethnic organized crime and international smuggling. In 1979 he worked deep undercover, infiltrating a major Dominican drug cartel that led to one of the largest cocaine seizures in U.S. history. In 1983, Joe became the youngest agent to be promoted to Chief of the New York City Anti-Smuggling Unit. In 1990, Joe retired on disability that was attributed to his five-year undercover work infiltrating a major drug cartel.
In 1995, Joseph Occhipinti established with his wife, Angela the National Police Defense Foundation (NPDF) where he now serves as its volunteer Executive Director. The NPDF has grown to be one of the largest police foundations in the United States that has extended internationally to twelve foreign countries.
The NPDF membership exceeds over 205,000 members and supporters worldwide. The basic mission statement of the National Police Defense Foundation is to “Protect & Support” the efforts of law enforcement. This is being accomplished through the important medical and legal support services provided the national law enforcement community, as well as several NPDF law enforcement programs involving public safety and child safety
It was Joe’s foresight that he established the congressionally recognized “Safe Cop” program that posts rewards for public information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who shoots a member law enforcement officer. This successful reward program is credited for bringing many cop killers nationwide to justice.
Joe also established the internationally renowned “Operation Kids”, program which has (1) distributed over 250,000 free fingerprint/DNA kits to parents (2) posted rewards for missing children (3) established “Project Pedophile” (4) funded many youth athletic events and other related charitable endeavors for children (5) granted over 50 scholarships to college bound students and (6) arranged life-saving operations and medical treatment to critically and severely handicapped children.
Joe’s has been recognized internationally as a humanitarian due to his lifesaving efforts on “Operation Kids” and for his efforts which resulted in saving the lives of dozens of critically ill children worldwide. These successes have been profiled on the “CBS Early Show” and recognized by key elected officials, state legislatures and foreign governments. The more noteworthy humanitarian awards included the Italian “Comitato Della Croce” Award, Ecuadorian “Sol de Oro” Award, United Nations sports organizational award, a historic private meeting with Pope Francis and the 2016 Rotary Club Gift of Life International Humanitarian Award, among others.
Over the past two decades, Joe Occhipinti has been the recipient of numerous international, legislative and Police Association Awards for his many accomplishments with the NPDF. These distinguished awards were presented by the New York State Shields, Columbia Association, American Society for Public Administration, New York Detectives Crime Clinic, New York State Police Chiefs Benevolent Association, Ministers of Harlem, USA, among others. Additionally, he was recognized via Congressional Proclamation by Members of Congress, the New Jersey and New York General Assemblies and Senate, Mayor of New York City, the Governments of Ecuador, Peru and Dominican Republic.
In May 2005, Joe Occhipinti was commissioned as an Honorary “Colonel Aide De Camp” by the Governor of Tennessee and in December 2006 received a Special Achievement Award from the Governor of North Carolina. Today, Joe Occhipinti is considered one of the most decorated federal agents in United States history, credited with three U.S. Attorney General Awards and 78 official commendations for meritorious service and valor. He served on several executive boards and is a proud member of the New Jersey Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Federal Law Enforcement Association (FLEOA) New York City Police Department Honor Legion, New Jersey Police Honor Legion, among others.
Joe Occhipinti resides in New Jersey with his wife, Angela of 41 years and three daughters where he continues to volunteer as the Executive Director for the National Police Defense Foundation.
|Det. Michael J. Palladino||President
Detectives Endowment Association
Michael J. Palladino's Bio
Michael J. Palladino was elected President of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc. (DEA) in June 2004. He was re-elected unopposed in 2008, again in 2012, and again in 2016. He spearheads contract negotiations and all dealings with the City, Chairs the union’s Health Benefits Funds, as well as Chairs the Trustees of the DEA’s Annuity Fund. He is also a Trustee of the $38-billion New York City Police Pension Fund.
Born and raised in The Bronx, Palladino joined the NYPD in 1979. He earned his gold shield through the Narcotics Division in January of 1987, and was promoted to second grade Detective in 1995 while assigned to the 52nd Precinct Detective Squad in The Bronx.
He first became involved in union activity when he was voted Delegate from the 52 Squad in 1992. Two years later he was elected DEA Bronx Welfare Officer, and then elected in 1996 to the position of Bronx Trustee. In 1998, he was elevated to union Secretary, handling member arbitration hearings and litigations and serving as Chairman of the DEA’s Strategic Planning Committee. In June of 2002, he was appointed Vice President of the union.
Palladino graduated from Fordham University with a B.S. degree in 1980. He has also studied at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and earned professional certificates from the Harvard Trade Union School at Harvard University, the Wharton School of Money Management at the University of Pennsylvania, and attended the Dale Carnegie School of Public Speaking in New York City.
Michael has five children — Michael, Jr., Francesca, Joseph, Alessandra, and Ava — and is married to fellow detective Theresa.
Among Palladino’s many and varied functions as DEA President, he leads the union’s political agenda on a local, State, and national level. The Union has had many legislative successes during Palladino’s tenure, including: the NYS World Trade Center Death Benefit bill (the Zadroga bill), which awards line of duty death benefits to first responders who succumb to their 9/11-related illnesses or injuries; the WTC 3/4s Disability Bill; the creation of the Mt. Sinai Medical Monitoring and Screening Program; the 9/11 Extender bills, the Variable Supplement guarantee; the Veterans’ Buy Back bill, and the bill that guarantees an Officer’s pension after 20 years.
In July of 2010, and again in 2013 and 2016, Palladino was elected President of the New York State Association of PBAs, an Albany-based lobbying group for Police Officers throughout the State of New York. The Association represents approximately 48,000 Officers of all ranks. Palladino previously served on the organization’s Executive Board.
From August of 2003 until February of 2012, Palladino also served as the elected Executive Vice President of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), a consortium of American police unions. Based in Washington, DC, NAPO represents 240,000 law enforcement officers nationwide.
|SSA Philip Scala||Vice President
US Department of Justice, FBI (Ret)
Phillip Scala's Bio
Philip P. Scala (02/28/08)
Philip P. Scala was born August 15, 1950 in Queens, New York where he attended Archbishop Molloy High School. He graduated from St. John’s University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and in 1974 with a Master of Business Administration in accounting. In 1996, he completed his studies toward a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from New York University.
In 1974 Mr. Scala received a United States Army regular commission, as a Distinguished Graduate of the Army Reserve Officer Training Program at St. John’s University. He graduated from the Airborne, Ranger, and Pathfinder Schools (Honor Graduate) at the Fort Benning Infantry school, and served with the First of the Sixth Infantry, First Armored Division, in the Federal Republic of Germany (1974-1977). Captain Scala served five years as an Infantry Officer and resigned his commission, upon receiving a position as a Special Agent of the FBI, in April of 1979.
Upon completion of training at the FBI Academy, Mr. Scala was assigned to the Criminal Division of the New York Office. He served in numerous assignments within the Organized crime branch and was sent to the Defense language Institute in Monterey, California to gain proficiency in the Italian/ Sicilian languages. Mr. Scala participated in the investigations of the La Cosa Nostra Commission, the murder of Paul Castellano, Sammy Gravano, Neil Dellacroce, and John J. Gotti. He served five years in numerous undercover positions in the national security and criminal divisions.
Mr. Scala served 15 years in the New York SWAT team, including the leadership of the Brooklyn-Queens team and Senior team leader for the New York Division from 1990-1995. His training included certifications as Rappel-Master, Tactical Instructor, Sniper, and Firearms instructor. He has participated in numerous SWAT operations, arrests, skyjackings and raids, including the Hell’s Angels HQ., the Atlanta Prison uprising, and the rescue of a mutinied oil tanker (Liberian-flagged, “Ypapanti”), in the Atlantic Ocean. In 1993, he led the raid on the Al-Qaeda bomb factory, where five terror operatives were arrested, and seized five explosive drums intended to destroy the United Nations, Federal Plaza, and the city’s tunnels.
On May 10, 1998, Mr. Scala was selected as a Supervisory Special Agent for the Gambino La Cosa Nostra Squad (C-16). During his tenure, the squad successfully investigated and prosecuted the Mob infiltration of Wall Street, the New York Waterfront investigation, “Murder Incorporated,” labor racketeering, the NY Construction Industry, dismantlement of the Gambino family in NY and Sicily, the NBA referee case, and the largest consumers’ fraud ($1 billion) in US history, which involved the mob’s infiltration of the internet, telecommunications, and banking industries.
From 2003-2008, Mr. Scala, developed and implemented the NY Office’s Leadership Development Program, which assisted relief supervisors develop excellence in leadership through mentoring, journalizing, “Best Practice” experiences, and accountability tools. The program was designed to be continuous, progressive, and measurable in assisting the FBI leaders maximize their leadership potential throughout their careers.
Throughout his 28-year career with the FBI, Mr. Scala has been the recipient of numerous commendations and awards for outstanding service, notably the FBI Shield of Bravery, as a group commendation, as the SWAT team leader of the Al-Qaeda Bomb Factory Raid, on June 3, 1993.
|Det. Joseph Walker||Treasurer
Hudson County Prosecutor's Office
Joe Walker's Bio
Detective Joseph L. Walker is a nineteen year law enforcement veteran currently working for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit. In the span of his career, Det. Walker has investigated sex crimes, child abuse, domestic violence, narcotics, vice and auto theft and has also been involved in numerous undercover operations.
Det. Walker started his law enforcement career in 1995 with the Newark New Jersey Police Department. After graduating from the police academy, Det. Walker was assigned to the Vice Unit as an undercover officer for several months and got a “baptism by fire” education in police work and undercover operations. And even with his lack of experience, he excelled and was a big part of taking down numerous prostitution operations, illegal gambling and drinking establishments. Once his stint with the Vice Unit was over, Det. Walker did his first uniformed patrol assignment with Newark and instead of seeing it as a demotion, he looked forward to working with the community, policing the city’s busiest neighborhoods. His hard work and due diligence did not go unnoticed because after only a year and a half he was assigned as a plain cloths officer to the North District Street Crimes Unit. From there he went on to become a Detective with the Newark Police Department for four years into his career working the Sex Crimes Unit, Domestic Violence and Auto Theft Unit.
After ten years with the Newark Police Department, Det. Walker took his experience to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, first being assigned to Court Investigations and two months later in the Special Victims Unit. Currently Det. Walker is assigned to the Insurance Fraud Unit within the Prosecutor’s Office working closely with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
Det. Walker or Joe as he is affectionately known to his family is a loving husband to his wife of 11 years Marie-Elaine and has four children that he dotes on very much: Joe Jr. (age 24), Annalyse (nicknamed Penny age 12), Miles (age 8) and Isabelle (“Izzy” age 4). Even with the difficulty the past year has brought him, Joe used the time away from work to strengthen his bond with his family which he feels has made him an even better husband and father.
The NPDF is so proud to be presenting Detective Joseph Walker this year’s Man of the Year Award in recognition in recognition of her lifetime achievement with the New Jersey State Police and success as Chief of Staff of the New Jersey State Police.
| C.O. Norma Delgado ||Secretary
NYC Department of Correction (Ret)
Norma Delgado's Bio
On February 16, 1983, Norma Delgado arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport together with her three children, Amadeo, Norma, and Susan. Her husband Maximiliano had arrived four months earlier, and was already working in a factory. For Mrs. Delgado this was the beginning of her “AMERICAN DREAM”.
Mrs. Delgado is a native from Peru, “THE ANCIENT INCAS LAND” where MACCHU PICCHU is located. She was 29 years old when she came to the United States, and did not speak English. Mrs. Delgado was scared of the change, but she was determined to succeed. Since it was difficult to find a job, she started delivering newspapers in a neighborhood close to her house with her nine years old son and husband. Although things weren’t going well, Mrs. Delgado did not dismay on her efforts to succeed. She decided to go back to school, and enrolled herself in the Bronx Community College Nursing program. She studied really hard, while cleaning apartments in Manhattan and caring for her family. Mrs. Delgado was later hired by a cleaning company in Manhattan. Even though the pay was better, this was not enough for her. She continued to further herself, until she was employed by the Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx.
Mrs. Delgado met NPDF Director Joseph Occhipinti around 1984, while as a federal agent was looking for a perpetrator in the building that she was living with her family. Mr. Occhipinti became a good friend to her family, and advised Mrs. Delgado to pursue a career in Law Enforcement.
One day during a college job fair, Mrs. Delgado filled out an application to become a Correction Officer. She passed the exam, and started working for the New York Department of Corrections on February 16, 1989, exactly 6 years after she arrived in the United States. Corrections Officer Delgado continued to work there for 16 years.
On April 29, 2000, C.O. Delgado received the National Police Defense Foundation Special Achievement Award for her humanitarian and lifesaving efforts for baby Emily Mendoza. C.O. Delgado also was awarded the “Roberto Clemente Award” from the New York City Department of Corrections Hispanic Society for her humanitarian actions and devoted services. Mrs. Delgado is currently the Administrator of the Operation Kids program for the National Police Defense Foundation. In August of 2012, Mrs. Delgado traveled to Ecuador to assist Ecuadoran Police Corporal Angelica Borja in obtaining a visa to travel to the United States in order to receive a prosthetic leg. Corporal Borja was injured in the line of duty and her leg was amputated. Mrs. Delgado accompanied Police Corporal Borja to Oklahoma City and oversaw Corporal Borja’s rehabilitation and wellbeing for six weeks. In April 2013, Mrs. Delgado will be assisting another Ecuadoran Police Corporal, Corporal Nancy Choto who was also injured in the line of duty, by traveling to Oklahoma City to oversee her medical treatment to receive a prosthetic leg and rehabilitation services. Mrs. Delgado carries out these missions with the highest level of integrity and empathy.
Now, after 30 years in United States, Mrs. Delgado is a Retired Corrections Officer and a proud grandmother of four grandchildren Temetri, Destiny, Brittyn and Londen. She resides in Long Island, New York with her loving supportive husband.
|Chief Kenneth Henderson|| Administrator, Police Chiefs Coalition
Bound Brook Police Dept. (Ret)
|P.O. Michele Mastrosimone||Administrator, NPDF Italia Coalition
Police Officer, Italian State Police
|Chief Joseph Chierchio||Administrator, Deputy Sheriffs & Peace Officers Defense Foundation
Chief of Department, NYC TLC
|F.F. Vincent Tummino||Administrator, Firefighters & EMS Defense Foundation
New York City Fire Department (Ret)
|SAC Hugo Barrera||Administrator, Federal Office Coalition
U.S. Department of Justice, ATF
|Dr. Dhimant Balar||Administrator, Operation Kids Program|
|Sgt. Mike Barry||Administrator, Safe Cop Program|
|Det. Karry McCellan||Administrator, Project Pedophile|
|Alan E. Wolin, Esq.||Chief Legal Counsel|
|Det. David Venezian||Chief Investigator
New York City Police Department (Ret)
|Lt. Karl N. Milligan (Ret)||Delegate to Washington, DC|
|Angela Occhipinti||Office Administrator|
|Michelle Rizzo||Assistant Office Administrator|
|Michael Ceglio||Director of Information Technology|
|Elaine Leed||Executive Assistant|
|Janice Arbital||Executive Assistant|
|Matt Stoll||Chief Financial Advisor|
|James Urbano||Chief Insurance Advisor|
|John Joseph Smith, M.D.||Chief Police Surgeon|
|Dr. Joseph Como, DD||Director of Surgical Operations|
|Msgr. Robert Romano||Deputy Chief Chaplain, NYPD|
|Rabbi Harry Tvzi Berkowitz||Chief Chaplain, MTA Police|
|Rev. Capt James Occhipinti||Chaplain
Ocean County Prosecutor's Office
|Hon. Frank Pallone||Member of Congress|
|Hon. Bill Pascrell, Jr.||Member of Congress|
|Hon. Joseph Vitale||New Jersey State Senator|
|Hon. Martin J. Golden||NYS Senator|
PROGRAM SERVICE ADMINISTRATORS
|Dr. Dhimant Balar||Operation Kids Program|
|S/A John "Sparky" McLaughlin||Safe Cop Program
PA Attorney General (Ret)
PUBLIC RELATIONS COORDINATORS
|John "Jack" McGreevey|
|District Director William Carroll (Ret)||Congressional Liaison Officer|