Longtime Advocate Honored for Combating Crimes Against Children
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, presented the Crystal Kipper & Ali Kemp Memorial Award today to Craig Hill, a professional consultant with a long history of combatting crimes against children during many years working in law enforcement as well as through his own organization and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Today’s award ceremony was part of an annual event hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and VictimNet, a coalition of victim service providers and others committed to meeting the needs of crime victims in Jackson County, in conjunction with the observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s theme – “Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims” – emphasizes the role of the entire community, individually and collectively, as we support victims of crime and empower them to direct their own recovery.
Hill is a consultant who presents law enforcement training and public lectures in conjunction with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, where he formerly served as associate director of law enforcement training and outreach for more than five years.
“Craig Hill has spent his career either directly working in law enforcement, or working to support law enforcement,” Dickinson said. “Some people retire to play golf, or go fishing. When Craig retired as Deputy Police Chief in the Leawood Police Department, he didn’t skip a beat. Craig continued to pursue his passion for protecting children and for equipping and training law enforcement officers and other professionals who are in the trenches combatting these heinous crimes.”
After 33 years in the Leawood, Kan., Police Department, the last five as Deputy Police Chief, Hill went to work for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
“That was a natural progression for him,” Dickinson said, noting that during his tenure with the Leawood Police Department he was a co-founder of The Lost Child Network. The Lost Child Network, where Hill served as president for 14 years, was one of the nation’s first non-profit child resources centers when it was founded in 1984. Hill traveled throughout the United States and parts of Canada to lecture on the crimes committed against children. The Lost Child Network played a role in the recovery of several children who were reported missing, working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as NCMEC.
The Lost Child Network merged with NCMEC in 1998 to become the Kansas City branch of that national organization and Hill joined NCMEC’s board of directors. In 2005, Hill retired from the police force and became the associate director of law enforcement training and outreach for NCMEC. In that role, he was responsible to provide training in more than 230 cities to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, parole and probation workers, employees of corrections departments and social services agencies, and child advocacy centers. The training covered the dynamics of the crimes committed against children, tactics used by the offenders, preparing first responders and prevention strategies.
In 2011 Hill formed his consulting company, Craig Hill Consultant, LLC. Hill is also the executive producer for Media Consultant, LLC, which provides development and design for in-service training, print adds, video productions and computer graphics design. Among the firm’s clients is the FBI International Symposium on Agroterrorism.
Hill is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and an active member of the FBI National Academy Associates, Inc.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
The Crystal Kipper & Ali Kemp Memorial Award is presented by the U.S. Attorney’s Office each year during the local observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to recognize the outstanding work of an individual or organization in protecting children from exploitation. The award was presented to Hill in memory of Crystal Kipper and Ali Kemp, two young women who were both fatal victims of tragic crimes. Anna Rhea, Crystal Kipper’s mother, and Roger Kemp, Ali Kemp’s father, participated in today’s presentation.
Today’s event at the Power and Light District also featured comments from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and Alvin Brooks of the AdHoc Group Against Crime. The event showcased various local victim service providers and a solidarity walk led by the Kansas City Mounted Patrol and Parents of Murdered Children. An art display featured the work of students of MyARTS.
The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), enacted in 2004, grants victims in federal criminal proceedings certain enforceable rights, including the right to be reasonably heard at public court proceedings and to receive full and timely restitution as provided by law. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has a dedicated Victim/Witness Unit that serves federal crime victims across the district’s 66 counties. Members of this unit notify victims of significant case events through the Department of Justice’s Victim Notification System (VNS). Such notice enables victims to participate in court proceedings and make their voices heard. Victim/Witness personnel accompany victims to court hearings and trials to ensure that victim participation in court proceedings is meaningful and to answer questions and explain the federal judicial process.
In addition to notification and court accompaniment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Unit provides essential services to victims, such as making referrals for counseling, securing temporary housing, assisting with access to victim compensation funds, and accompanying victims to court to provide support and guidance during the proceedings. These services provide tools victims need to reshape their futures.
Further information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is available at http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/.
The Crystal Kipper & Ali Kemp Memorial Award
Crystal Kipper was an 18-year-old Gladstone, Mo., resident who was murdered after her car broke down on Interstate 29, just north of Platte City, on Feb. 24, 1997. Ali Kemp was a 19-year-old Blue Valley North High School graduate who was murdered on June 18, 2002, while she worked at the Foxborough neighborhood swimming pool in Leawood, Kan.