A detective with the Irving Police Department, Joe DelFierro, was honored Wednesday by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch at the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s National Missing Children’s Day Ceremony held in Washington, D.C., announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas and Chief Larry Boyd of the Irving Police Department.

Detective DelFierro was presented the Missing Children’s Law Enforcement Award, which is awarded to a law enforcement officer who made a significant investigative or program contribution to the safety of children.  Detective DelFierro was recognized for his work in recovering a group of young girls, ages 11 to 14, who ran away from a mental health facility and were subsequently prostituted by two sex traffickers.  Those sex traffickers were federally prosecuted in the Northern District of Texas, where they were convicted and sentenced to federal prison terms of 293 months and 188 months.   

“Detective DelFerrio’s relentless and noble efforts to identify and neutralize those responsible for these girls’ horrific experience are profoundly inspiring,” said U.S. Attorney Parker.  “I am honored to join in recognizing his tireless service on the front lines of protecting the most vulnerable among us.”

“We are all proud of Detective DelFerrio for receiving this well-deserved recognition,” said Chief Larry Boyd. “It was through his dedicated efforts that these girls were rescued from a desperate and dangerous situation. The girls can now start recovering from their traumatic experience with the assurance that the predators who victimized them will be locked away for a very long time.”

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25, 1983, the first National Missing Children’s day to remember Etan Patz, a six-year-old boy who disappeared from a New York City street corner on May 25, 1979.  Missing Children’s Day honors his memory and the memories of children still missing, and every year, citizens, public agencies and private organizations gather to commemorate the day and renew their commitment to find missing children.

“The extraordinary people we honor today remind us that our nation has no more solemn obligation and no greater responsibility than the protection of our children,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “The Department of Justice is proud to stand with them – and with law enforcement officers, advocates and families throughout the country – as we work toward a safer and brighter future for all our young people.”

Presented by The United State Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas

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