Dr. Gary W. Sykes Award for Professional Achievement in Law Enforcement

Created in 2012, this award recognizes an individual who has worked in a criminal justice professional for at least 10 years; has been instrumental in bringing about significant organizational change for the good of the profession; is significantly involved in community service and civic activities; and is a role model to law enforcement officers, support personnel, criminal justice professionals and citizens.

2023 Honoree

The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration presented its 2023 Gary W. Sykes Award for Professional Achievement in Law Enforcement to Judy Pal. "Judy Pal's experience and expertise has significantly shaped the development of hundreds of public information officers and chief executives in our profession throughout the United States and Canada, underscoring the indispensable role of adept communication within our field, especially during crises” commented Gregory Smith, Director of ILEA. “Her exemplary career contributions and leadership serve as a beacon of professional excellence in our industry as well as any other."

About Judy Pal - With over three decades of management and public relations experience spanning public safety, government, and the entertainment industry in Canada and the United States, Judy Pal has skillfully maneuvered through critical issues ranging from police misconduct and international scandals to terrorism. With foundational experience in professional sports and broadcast journalism with the Edmonton Oilers and Global Television, Pal has successfully managed crisis communications and public relations in various law enforcement agencies, notably implementing a public trust restoration plan for the Atlanta Police Department, enhancing the image of Atlantic Canada's largest police department, and joining NYPD as an Assistant Commissioner. Previous roles include Director of Operations and instructor at the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA), Chief of Staff with the Baltimore Police Department, and Operations Director with Kroll Security Group, where she worked with international clients, including the Government of Chile and the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service. Additionally, Pal, a recipient of several communication project awards, has contributed academically as an adjunct professor at Mount Saint Vincent University and author in industry publications, consolidating her influential presence in media relations, crisis communications, and public relations.

Past Honorees

  • Dr. Alex del Carmen (2021)
    Tarleton State University
  • Sheriff Terry G. Box (2018)
    Collin County Sheriff’s Office (Ret.)
  • Chief David N. James (2017)
    Carrollton Police Dept. (Ret.)
  • Major Kenneth Seguin (2016)
    Dallas Police Dept. (Ret.)
  • Chief Doug Kowalski (2015)
    Prosper Police Dept.
  • Timothy N. Oettmeier, Ph.D. (2013)
    Houston Police Dept.
  • Dr. Gary W. Sykes (2012)