U.S. Coast Guard Special Agent Thomas Gage Receives 2018 ILEA Ethical Courage Award

The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA) has chosen U.S. Coast Guard Special Agent Thomas Gage to receive its 2018 Ethical Courage Award for going above and beyond the ethical and professional obligations of his job to assist an individual in need.

“We present the Ethical Courage Award each year to recognize a law enforcement individual or organization for outstanding ethics and integrity,” said Gregory Smith, M.A., Director of ILEA. “We were very impressed with the extraordinary measures taken by Special Agent Gage to protect the safety of a federal witness and his family after a criminal investigation had ended.”

While investigating a foreign-flagged vessel suspected of deliberately polluting U.S. waters, Special Agent Gage identified a crewmember who was able to provide extensive evidence used to convict the company. That crewmember was later told by representatives of his government that they wanted to meet with him when he returned home, making him fear for his safety. The company also took steps to revoke his mariner’s license.

Special Agent Gage went beyond the call of duty to ensure that the witness and his family could obtain asylum in the U.S. He also helped the witness gain employment.

Brian Jeanfreau, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service in New Orleans, nominated Special Agent Gage for the award. “Holding the company accountable for their crimes may not have been possible without the assistance of the witness, and Special Agent Gage took extraordinary measures to ensure that the U.S. government didn’t simply discard the witness once his testimony was no longer needed,” said Jeanfreau. “This was just one example of his continuous commitment to serving the public.”

Special Agent Gage received the 2018 ILEA Ethical Courage Award during the First Responder Bowl on Dec. 26, 2018 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

About the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA): As one of the premier educational organizations for law enforcement executives, managers and supervisors, ILEA provides top-quality, academically-based courses, seminars and workshops across the U.S. and internationally to prepare law enforcement officials for today’s challenging management and ethical issues. ILEA is a division of the Center for American and International Law (CAIL), a non-profit educational organization headquartered in Plano. Texas, that works to improve the quality of justice throughout the U.S. and the world.