New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly was presented with the George F. Kennan Award for distinguished public service on Wednesday at a black tie event hosted by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.
Why was an activist organization dedicated to U.S. policy abroad honoring a man usually associated with an American city? Because Kelly's police department, following the attacks on September 11, 2001, has become a global force for protecting Americans at home and abroad from international terrorism.
According to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, Kelly created the country's first counterterrorism bureau for a municipal police department in 2002. The NYPD now has police officers around the globe, the subject of the 2009 book Securing The City, by Christopher Dickey. In that book, Dickey wrote that the NYPD intelligence program was designed by Kelly to be "an organization with minimal bureaucracy and maximum freedom of movement, able to anticipate threats and to act on that information." As the New York Times reports, Kelly increased the number of cops working the terrorism beat from 25 to more than 1,000 during his first week on the job, the backbone of a style of intelligence work now called "intelligence-led policing."
The event, held in a glittering ballroom in New York's Plaza Hotel, not only featured remarks from Kelly, who spoke about the importance of international cooperation for crime fighting in the age of international terrorism. Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker addressed the room and the last honoree, General David Petraeus, spoke in a taped message from Afghanistan, where he is serving as head of NATO and U.S. forces. Petraeus spoke warmly of Kelly's dedication and the National Committee of American Foreign Policy. The president of the committee, Dr. George D. Schwab, spoke on the importance of the U.S.'s dedication to international cooperation as unrest in the Middle East and North Africa highlight the fluid state of world affairs. He also spoke about the need for the type of negotiations and international cooperation in which the Committee has specialized since its founding in 1974 by Hans J. Morgenthau, a leading figure in the field of international relations in the last century.
The event also recognized Qualcomm CEO Paul E. Jacobs for advancing telecommunications around the world. Kelly's award was presented by John D. Negroponte, former ambassador to Iraq and National Intelligence Director.
The prestigious foreign policy event was created to recognize those who have "made seminal contributions to defining and illuminating the national interests of the United States. "