Justice Department Honors Arizona Detective; FBI Agent with Federal Service Award
Today, the Department of Justice recognized Detective Kevin Rivers of the Gila River Police Department and Special Agent Sherry C. Rice of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the Federal Service Award during the annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. This honor is awarded to federal agency personnel whose work affects victims of federal, tribal, or military crimes or promotes victims’ rights and services nationally and internationally.
“Those of us in law enforcement are sworn to serve and protect,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Special Agent Sherry Rice and Detective Kevin Rivers have done just that. Through their hard work and dedication, they have brought closure and relief to girls in the Gila River Indian Community who have suffered at the hands of a suspected predator. I want to thank them for their courage and outstanding service in investigating this case and ensuring that justice was served.”
Rivers and Rice led the investigation into a child sex offender who was suspected of crimes in the Gila River Indian Community over the course of 30 years. Rivers’ and Rice’s leadership led to charges against the suspect for crimes related to sexual assault involving seven different victims.
“Detective Rivers and Special Agent Rice’s tireless leadership brought a dark and painful chapter in the Gila River Indian Community to an end,” said Director of the Office for Victims of Crime Darlene Hutchinson. “The Department of Justice is proud to honor them for their remarkable contributions and for their commitment to justice for all individuals victimized by crime.”
During today’s ceremony, the Justice Department recognized a dozen individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts on behalf of victims of crime. Awardees were selected from public nominations in ten categories.
Each year in April, the Department of Justice observes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by taking time to honor victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf. In addition, the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s Offices organize events to honor the victims and advocates, as well as bring awareness to services available to victims of crime. This year’s observance takes place April 8-14, with the theme Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.
The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, within the Office of Justice Programs, leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week each year. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 to bring greater sensitivity to the needs and rights of victims of crime.
The Office of Justice Programs provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of these crime fighting strategies. Because most of the responsibility for crime control and prevention falls to law enforcement officers in states, cities, and neighborhoods, the federal government can be effective in these areas only to the extent that it can enter into partnerships with these officers. More information about the Office of Justice Programs and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov. More information about Crime Victim’s Rights Week can be found at https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/.