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CBP Leaders Honored with Women in Federal Law Enforcement Awards

Two U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees were honored for their leadership contributions during the 15th Annual Women in Federal Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon on Aug. 27 in Washington, D.C.

WIFLE is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the numbers of women in U.S. federal law enforcement while honoring extraordinary women who go above and beyond their call of duty to protect our country.

Melissa Y. Rios-Bozoki accepts the Elizebeth Smith Friedman Intelligence Award of Excellence from Women in Federal Law Enforcement

Melissa Y. Rios-Bozoki accepts the Elizebeth Smith Friedman Intelligence Award of Excellence from Women in Federal Law Enforcement. From left, WIFLE Foundation President Catherine Sanz; Rios-Bozoki; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director B. Todd Jones; WIFLE Foundation Vice President Sheree Mixell.

Among the 19 award winners was Melissa Y. Rios-Bozoki, CBP director of the South Texas Border Intelligence Center, who received the first Elizebeth Friedman Intelligence Award of Excellence. The award honors the significant acts of exceptional and sustained levels of intelligence analysis; innovative intelligence integration functions; and increased situational awareness to further investigative operations, secure/protect an event, reduce/prevent crime and prevent terrorism. Rios-Bozoki was cited for her overall dedication, willingness to implement change and continued innovative methods of securing the nation’s borders.

Paula J. Heacock, CBP branch chief of the Port of New York/Newark, received the Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement Award, which recognizes the contributions of an individual toward the elimination of systemic barriers to career opportunities for women in law enforcement. The award also recognizes a person who is an advocate, advisor and leader in the continued support of women in law enforcement.

Paula J. Heacock accepts the WIFLE Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement Award.

Paula J. Heacock accepts the WIFLE Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement Award. From left, WIFLE Foundation President Catherine Sanz; Heacock; WIFLE Foundation Vice President Sheree Mixell.

“This award means so much, not just for me, but it recognizes the contributions of women in the intelligence field and their hard work and sacrifices and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the country,” said Rios-Bozoki. “Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher and everyone in CBP has shown an unparalleled commitment to the South Texas Campaign border security mission. The support is critical to the success of the South Texas Intelligence Center,” she added.

“I am so grateful, humbled and honored to be recognized,” Heacock said. “I would like to express my gratitude toward Customs and Border Protection for being supportive of me. After a local conference I attended, I was inspired to create a working moms’ brown-bag lunch group that met regularly to discuss, “How did you handle this issue at work or summer camp?’ or our biggest question, ‘What are you making for dinner tonight?’” She added, “Every time we get together, I learn something new from the other working moms.”

Last modified: 
November 18, 2014