Department of Justice and United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa Commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (“OVC”) and the Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa will join communities nationwide in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and celebrating victims’ rights, protections and services. This year’s observance takes place April 24-30 and features the theme, “Rights, access, equity, for all victims.”
In the Northern District of Iowa, Acting United States Attorney Timothy T. Duax announced winners for three awards based on their service to victims in Iowa:
- The Law Enforcement Victim Services Award is presented to Officer Nicholas Berry from the Waterloo Police Department. This award is presented to law enforcement officers in Iowa who go beyond the call of duty to help crime victims. It is the highest federal honor in Iowa for victim services by a law enforcement officer.
Officer Berry showed dedication to victims while investigating multiple cases involving drug overdoses resulting in the death of the victim. In particular, Officer Berry’s work with the family of a drug overdose victim led to the successful prosecution of Eric Griggs. Officer Berry remained in close contact with the victim’s family throughout the investigation and prosecution. His tenacious investigation and empathy for the victim’s family led directly to the successful prosecution of Griggs, resulting in a 40-year prison sentence and restitution for the victim’s family.
- The Award for Excellence in Victim Services is presented to Brandi Lewin from the Delaware County Victim Services Office. Ms. Lewin is the Victim Witness Coordinator and Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator for multiple counties. In just 15 months in this role, Ms. Lewin has helped numerous victims improve their lives. Ms. Lewin makes herself available to victims at all hours and goes above and beyond to assist them. She has also established training opportunities for law enforcement, helping to ensure that there is an environment of victim-centered service during the investigation and prosecution of crimes.
- The Award for Excellence in Victim Services is presented to Penny Galvin, the director of the Survivors’ Program with Waypoint Services. Ms. Galvin provided outstanding services to those affected by the murder of James Booher by Matthew Robbins and others. Throughout the investigation, prosecution, trial, and sentencing, Ms. Galvin provided outstanding support to the victim’s family, which included the victim’s mother and stepfather, the victim’s siblings, his ex-wife, and the victim’s stepchildren. Ms. Galvin attended court hearings with the family, and regularly communicated with the family to answer questions and provide updates. During the investigation, she provided emotional support to the family, who, for years, were unsure what had happened to their loved one as his body was not recovered. Ms. Galvin’s efforts in this regard were outstanding given the length and complexity of the investigation.
Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, putting crime victims' rights, needs and concerns in a prominent spot on the American agenda. He also established the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, which laid the groundwork for a national network of services and legal safeguards for crime victims.
For more information on how to create your own public campaigns to raise awareness about crime victims’ rights online and at events throughout the year, please visit: https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw2022/overview.html