Investigator Joseph O’Keefe is the 2016 Amtrak Police Department Officer of the Year. In an April ceremony, Amtrak Chief of Police Neil Trugman presented the award to Investigator O’Keefe for his significant contributions to the Amtrak community, including the discovery of a large-scale auto theft ring in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
“Investigator O’Keefe’s commitment to hard work, his investigative skills and dedication to duty have been a major contribution to our efforts to reduce fraud and improve processes company-wide,” said Chief Trugman.
Based in Philadelphia, Investigator O’Keefe was able to link several thefts of rental cars from Wilmington Station to a large-scale auto-theft ring operating out of Delaware and Pennsylvania. O’Keefe was able to connect the thefts to other similar crimes in Maryland and ultimately build a strong case for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to prosecute.
In Spring of 2016, O’Keefe and Investigator Michael Baker undertook an investigation into the theft of 120 feet of lead-encased copper communication wire. This theft caused damage to the train signal system and extensive delays to trains traveling on the Northeast Corridor. Using the discovery of hidden wire as bait, the investigators were able to capture an additional theft on camera and later took two suspects into custody. Both suspects would confess to taking the wire.
Investigator O’Keefe’s work has also led to the reduction of online reservation fraud throughout the Amtrak system and his investigations have been a valuable asset to multiple law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Secret Service, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, the Diplomatic Security Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Investigator O’Keefe began his career with Amtrak Police in 2011. After working as a patrol officer, he was promoted to the rank of Investigator in 2012. During his career with Amtrak Police, he has received the Exceptional Achievement Award, two Distinguished Unit Citations, and six Officer of the Month Awards.