Background on the FBI's Louis E. Peters Memorial
The following text was taken from a page on the FBI.gov web site which no
longer exists but is archived at
The Louis E. Peters
Memorial Service Award
Citizen cooperation is often overlooked as a very effective law
enforcement tool. In 1981, Louis E. Peters, a California car dealer, was
honored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of
Justice for his outstanding contributions to the FBI, his community, and his
nation. Shortly after being honored, Mr. Peters died of cancer. The Lou
Peters story so touched the hearts of those individuals who worked with him
that a proposal was made to allow the memory of Mr. Peters' service to
The FBI and the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI decided in
early 1982 to collaborate on an award that has become known as the Louis E.
Peters Memorial Service Award. This award was designed not only to preserve
the memory of Mr. Peters, but also to recognize publicly those citizens who,
at great personal sacrifice, have given unselfishly of themselves to serve
their communities and nation. The award is presented at the annual
convention of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.
Below is a list of award recipients and a brief description of their
- In 1982 an Oklahoma commissioner received the award for his
contribution during a major public corruption case.
- In 1983 the security director of a private firm in Washington, D.C.
received the award for his assistance in the area of foreign
- In 1984 the award was presented to an individual for her courageous
assistance in a major narcotics trafficking case.
- In 1985 an individual received the award for his contribution in one
of the most far-reaching espionage cases of the last thirty years.
- In 1986 the award was presented to an individual for her heroic
actions aboard the hijacked TWA Flight 847. For more than two weeks this
individual prevented terrorists from murdering several passengers.
- In 1987 the award was presented to an individual for his three-year
effort against major public corruption in his hometown in Kentucky. He was
able to prevent the misuse of more than $200,000 in government housing
- In 1988 an individual received the award for undercover work which
included traveling throughout the United States and overseas, in order to
aid FBI efforts against organized crime.
- In 1989 the award was presented to an individual who worked tirelessly
in an investigation of judicial corruption in Chicago, involving the
investigation of judges, lawyers, county personnel, and police officers.
- In 1990 the award was presented to an individual in Mississippi who
was credited with unraveling a corruption ring that involved charges
against more than 58 government personnel.
- In 1991 the award was presented to an individual who hosts a popular
television show which informs the public about wanted fugitives and
- In 1992 an individual received the award who, for many years, served
as a double-agent for the FBI to counteract espionage conducted by Soviet
Front groups in the United States.
- In 1993 the award was presented to an individual who, for more than a
year, assisted the FBI in an investigation of organized crime and its
involvement in racehorse rackets.
- In 1994 the award was presented to an individual who, by testifying in
court against a violent criminal, placed himself and his family in danger.
This individual witnessed a murder but refused to submit to threats and
violence prior to the trial of the suspect.
- In 1995 the award was presented to an individual who assisted the FBI
in a case involving bribery of a commissioner in Oklahoma. Through the
help of this individual, this commissioner, as well as the person
initiating the bribe, were charged and convicted.
- In 1996 the award was presented to an individual from Texas whose
testimony in the face of danger was key to the conviction of a notoriously
dangerous gang member responsible for, in this case, a triple murder.
- In 1997 the award was presented to an individual who provided detailed
information on a corporation that fraudulently billed a federally funded
transit organization. Due to his cooperation with the FBI, he faced many
threats to his life and family.
- In 1998 an individual from Montana received the award for his
diligence in peacefully ending a standoff between authorities and a
- In 1999 the award was presented to an individual from Philadelphia
who, at great personal risk, voluntarily assisted the FBI in an
investigation to protect the civil rights of others.