JSA names new honoree

John Walker, supervisory special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Jewelry and Gem Program, received the James B. White Award to Law Enforcement during the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) 2001 annual luncheon.

The award, named after JSA’s retired longtime director, is presented annually to a member of the law enforcement profession who has done an outstanding job in helping to eliminate crime against jewelers, traveling jewelry salespeople, and others in the industry. This is the third year for the award.

Walker, a former trial lawyer, joined the FBI in 1991, investigating a variety of violent and non-violent crimes, such as bank robberies, extortion, kidnapping, domestic terrorism, and white collar crimes, before assuming management of the FBI’s Jewelry and Gem Program. The JAG program coordinates jewelry theft and robbery investigations conducted by FBI field offices and collects, analyzes, and disseminates its intelligence among law enforcement agencies and the jewelry industry.

At the luncheon, held Jan. 13, JSA president John Kennedy praised Walker’s efforts and highlighted some of the successes resulting from both the JAG program’s efforts and the JSA’s efforts. For example, in 1999, hits against traveling remount shows climbed more than 50% from 1998 figures, but that number dropped by 47% in 2000. Additionally, the number of jewelry-related homicides has dropped since the early 1990s.

Kennedy asked for a moment of silence from the audience in tribute to nine individuals who died during jewelry-related crimes in 2000. He read the victims’ names and described the circumstances surrounding their murders.