The Los Angeles Field Office has selected Zully Roman to receive the Director's Community Leadership Award.
Ms. Roman is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience in news gathering and reporting. Ms. Roman has dedicated her career not only to reporting violent crimes in general, but to educating the public about crimes affecting their communities. She believes that the first step to crime prevention is public awareness and partnership with law enforcement. In 2007 she founded the Expediente Rojo Project. At the time, Ms. Roman assumed all expenses related to this project and gathered a group of professionals who volunteered to work with her in providing crime prevention education. Expediente Rojo became a nonprofit organization in 2008.
In 2007, Ms. Roman launched a website called expedienterojo.org . This website, which is in Spanish, has become a trusted source of crime-watch information created for the Latino community. Expediente Rojo is not limited to the United States, and also includes links to international law enforcement agencies. The website provides education and crime prevention tips, including information on hate crimes, Internet safety, fraud prevention, cold cases, and terrorism threats. Through Expediente Rojo, Ms. Roman has been promoting the FBI by publicizing fugitive cases, reporting on missing children, and disseminating crime prevention advice. In the first half of 2009, expedienterojo.org reported more than 1,850,000 visits.
Ms. Roman uses Expediente Rojo as a bridge between the Latino community and law enforcement agencies. She provides her readers with a forum where they can report crimes to the proper authorities without fear. This information is then provided to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Ms. Roman also provides crime victims, as well as their families, with information regarding assistance available to them. In addition, Expediente Rojo profiles Latino role models to encourage young people to stay in school. Several FBI agents have been profiled on the website.
Ms. Roman has a passion for educating the Latino community in an effort to minimize their victimization. She provides guidance to women who are victims of violence. She also participates in presentations organized by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). In addition to the LAPD, she has established relationships with many U.S. law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, ATF, and DEA.
Beyond her work with Expediente Rojo, she is a member of the FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association, and she is an LAPD Community Relations Specialist Reserve Officer.