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New York City justice’s service earns FBI and Presidential honors

Photo Credit: of Kings County Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter and the Brooklyn Public Library
Photo Credit: of Kings County Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter and the Brooklyn Public Library
Photo Credit: of Kings County Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter and the Brooklyn Public Library

Kings County Supreme Court Justice Bruce M. Balter was the recipient of two very prestigious honors; the 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award and the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Justice Balter and the other recipients of the 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award received their honor from Director Robert S. Mueller, III during a ceremony at FBI Headquarters.

Those leaders who are honored with the Director’s Award are selected by their area FBI field office for having shown outstanding contributions to their local communities through service.

Director Mueller ( above, left ) emphasized the FBI’s gratitude to all of the individuals and organizations on behalf of their communities.

“You are all determined to create a safer world for our children. You are all dedicated to protecting our neighborhoods from crime and violence. Just as important, you are all devoted to upholding the rule of law and defending the freedoms we cherish,” said Director Mueller while congratulating this year’s recipients.

Justice Balter also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which was presented by the United States President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and was signed by President Barack Obama.

Justice Balter, who holds the rank of Colonel in the New York National Guard, was given the award at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. He serves as the staff judge advocate for the state of New York’s Armed Forces and has assisted thousands of troops with wills and health care proxies before their overseas deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation (the Council) was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in their communities. The Council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

The day after being presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, Justice Balter, who was in-between felony criminal trials, read to a group of elementary school children at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dyker Heights branch.

He read the Dr. Seuss classic “The Cat in the Hat,” in honor of the late author’s birthday. The branch librarian Eileen Kassab noted that they were honored that Justice Balter agreed to take part in the library’s “Read Across America” program.

“We were so honored when the judge agreed to participate in this year’s Dyker Library ‘Read Across America’ program,” said branch librarian Eileen Kassab. “His down-to-earth manner and autobiographical stories from early childhood captivated the 6-year-olds from P.S. 229’s first-grade classes.

“He was wonderful!”

Justice Balter called the event a “breath of fresh air,” especially having just presided over a trial in which a teenager was sentenced as an adult for a hate crime he committed and another case where a teacher is accused of molesting and raping an 11- and a 13-year-old.

It had been an especially noteworthy week for Justice Balter, who also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award the night before. Presented by the United States President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and signed by Barack Obama, the award was given to Hon. Balter, who is a colonel in the New York Guard, at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.

Justice Balter has served as acting administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court-Civil Term and as presiding justice of the Kings County Supreme Court-Criminal Term. He has also served as judge of the Family Court of the state of New York and as judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York.

A graduate of the New York FBI Citizens Academy, Justice Balter is also the Chairman of the Surrogate Court Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association. He has spoken during symposiums on homeland security in conjunction with law enforcement agencies and minority and faith-based communities.

He also makes it a point to routinely speak to thousands of high school students throughout the city of New York about community involvement and racial and religious harmony. Whether it is from the bench or through his unselfish volunteer efforts, Justice Balter stands as a shining example to us all about the importance of public service.

Article reprinted from NJBLUENOW

Photos courtesy of Kings County Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter and the Brooklyn Public Library

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