2 Jacksonville-based Homeland Security officials honored for hurricane relief
Women received prestigious awards from Women in Federal Law Enforcement
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two Jacksonville-based personnel with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection were recognized Thursday for receiving national awards from the Women in Federal Law Enforcement also known as WIFLE -- a nonprofit that advocates for gender equity in federal law enforcement. They were honored for their work supporting emergency response efforts during last fall’s destructive hurricane season.
Debora Hall and Jennifer Bradshaw were singled out for their efforts in providing relief for people who live in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Hall is a CBP Air and Marine Operation’s aviation enforcement agent with the Jacksonville Air Marine Branch. She received the group’s 2018 Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee award. The only female agent of the 60-person branch, Hall helped save lives and provided thousands with relief during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
A native of Puerto Rico, Hall told News4Jax the greater reward is knowing that she touched the lives of people, even thousands of miles away.
"They were desperate, there was no air out of Puerto Rico, so they were so thankful that we were helping them get their families," Hall said.
Bradshaw is the area port director, and she received the Julie Y. Cross Award. The award recognizes her work as the deputy area commander overseeing emergency response efforts last September and October in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
A working mom, Bradshaw said there's a mental and psychological story that pictures and video can't tell.
"And what they really didn't see is a lot of people just needed someone to listen, someone who understood. [There's] a level of comfort in knowing someone is going to be there with the basics of what you need," Bradshaw said.
CBP personnel from across Florida deployed for response and recovery efforts during the 2017 hurricane season transporting vital supplies and supporting dozens of relief operations and assessments in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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