The FBI initiated the DCLA in 1990 to honor those who provide civil rights education and put forth efforts to combat crime. It is presented annually on behalf of its Director, Robert S. Mueller, III. Every year, FBI field offices across the country select individuals or organizations—one per office—to receive the DCLA. The criteria for the award includes achievements in combating terrorism, cyber crime, and illegal drugs, gangs, and other crimes; or violence prevention/education efforts that have had a tremendous positive impact on communities. The recipients include dedicated groups of people and organizations that have collectively enhanced the lives of thousands of individuals and families and helped to protect communities around the United States.
A Buffalo native, AUSA Tripi graduated from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Canisius College and the University at Buffalo Law School. He joined the USAO in Buffalo in January 2008 following four years as an Assistant District Attorney in Nassau County. Following an assignment in the Narcotics and Violent Crimes Division, AUSA Tripi currently works in the USAO’s National Security Division, which oversees all federal gang prosecutions. AUSA Tripi’s primary prosecutive work is centered on the investigations of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF).
The FBI specifically recognizes AUSA Tripi’s work on the 10th Street and 7th Street gang prosecutions. For the past 20 years, members of these gangs committed acts of murder, attempted murder, robbery and assault, narcotics violations, firearms offenses, and witness intimidation. AUSA Tripi’s perseverance and commitment lead to the indictment of 35 10th and 7th Street gang members on a variety of RICO, narcotics, and weapons violations. AUSA Tripi is also the lead prosecutor on pending gang-related charges filed against members of the Bloods and DC-Crew gangs following long-term SSTF investigations.
“AUSA Tripi aggressively prosecutes gang and narcotics investigations conducted by our Safe Streets Task Force,“ said SAC Piehota. “He has demonstrated his commitment to improving our neighborhoods and consistently supports our task force with humble professionalism. In furtherance of the Department of Justice and FBI outreach programs, AUSA Tripi works with community groups who collaborate to fight gang violence.”
“I am pleased that AUSA Joe Tripi is being honored by the FBI with the Director’s Community Leadership Award,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. “As a member of the National Security Division, Joe works extremely hard day in and day out to bring to justice those individuals who attempt to fill our streets with drugs, guns and violence. In particular, he has done tremendous work on the prosecution of the 10th Street and 7th Street gangs whose members have committed serious acts of violence on the streets of Buffalo.”
Buffalo Police Department Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, “AUSA Tripi’s support has allowed law enforcement agencies at the state, federal and local levels to jointly address gang activities and make the City of Buffalo a safer place to live and work.”
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, will present AUSA Tripi with the 2011 DCLA during a formal ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on March 16, 2012.