Former FBI agent in charge in Buffalo to be honored Monday

Former FBI agent in charge in Buffalo to be honored Monday: Peter J. Ahearn, who was special agent in charge of Buffalo FBI operations during a number of events in the past decade, will be presented the Founders Award of the FBI Buffalo Citizens Academy Alumni Association at its annual meeting Monday.

Ahearn is being honored for his “vision, leadership and commitment to the academy and his outstanding service to the local community,” said Michael Benzin, president of the alumni association.

Ahearn, who now operates an executive consulting and business development group in Washington, D.C., was instrumental in expanding the scope of the local FBI Citizens Academy, which graduated about 500 area business, civic and community leaders in the operations of federal law enforcement. Ahearn was appointed head of the Buffalo office of the FBI in 2001 and retired from the agency in 2006.

During his time with the FBI in Buffalo, he played a central role in the prosecution of the Lackawanna Six, the James Charles Kopp murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian and the dismantling of the corrupt leadership of Teamsters Local 91 in Niagara Falls.

He was also instrumental in establishing the FBI-supported Western New York Regional Computer Forensics Lab and setting up the Buffalo FBI’s cyber security program and its Public Corruption Task Force.

As a former FBI SWAT leader, Ahearn also oversaw the FBI’s Buffalo crisis management and tactical operations. The 1976 Rutgers University graduate was in the FBI 29 years and then worked two years as a senior adviser in the office of the Federal Director of National Intelligence.