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WISCONSIN DELLS — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Exceptional Service Awards, presented by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, to those who exemplify outstanding service and achievements in public safety and criminal justice in the following award categories: Crime Victim Advocate of the Year; Forensic Science Contribution of the Year; Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and Prosecutor of the Year. Click here for photo of Attorney General Van Hollen with award recipients. Pictured from left to right are: Christopher Johnson, Gary Freyberg, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, Holli Stephens and Randy Schultz.
“Those individuals who choose to serve in the areas of public safety and criminal justice, by having chosen this line of work, already exhibit a deep concern for others, respect for the rule of law and a willingness to make personal sacrifice, if called upon,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “And yet, this group of individuals stands out for going above and beyond in their duties. I’m proud to present these well-deserved awards and thank them for their tremendous contributions to make Wisconsin safer for all of us who call this great state our home.”
This year’s recipients are the following individuals:
Crime Victim Advocate of the Year -- Holli Stephens, Victim Advocate, West Allis Police Department
The Wisconsin Crime Victim Advocate of the Year award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond what is expected, demonstrating outstanding service and advocacy for crime victims and victim services. The nominee works on behalf of the victim to ensure, enhance or enforce crime victim rights and has made a positive difference in the lives of victims. The nominee is recognized as a leader within his or her field/community and exhibits extraordinary work, which could include direct service, system and/or community change, or championing legislative change that has a positive impact on victims of crime.
Forensic Science Contribution of the Year -- Christopher Johnson, DNA Analyst – Senior, Wisconsin State Crime Lab
The Wisconsin Department of Justice instituted the Forensic Science Contribution of the Year award to recognize outstanding achievement by a forensic scientist, evidence specialist, AFIS technician, or other laboratory employee who has exhibited objectivity, impartiality, clarity, integrity and dedication in the performance of his or her duties. This award may be based upon extraordinary efforts in the handling of a specific case or cases, or a longstanding record of contributions to the laboratory, discipline, or forensic science as a whole.
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year -- Randy Schultz, Patrol Captain, Brown County Sheriff’s Office
The Wisconsin Department of Justice instituted the Officer of the Year award to recognize a law enforcement officer who has demonstrated exemplary service and devotion to duty. Although a single heroic incident may be worthy of consideration, special consideration is given to those nominees who have distinguished themselves and their profession throughout their careers. These exemplary services would include, but are not limited to: law enforcement service, community service, extreme act of valor, and other notable contributions to the law enforcement profession.
Prosecutor of the Year –
Gary Freyberg, Assistant Attorney General, Wisconsin Department of Justice
Richard Lewis, Assistant District Attorney, Clark County District Attorney’s Office
The Wisconsin Department of Justice instituted the Prosecutor of the Year award to recognize outstanding achievement by a prosecutor who has exhibited excellence, fairness, integrity and dedication in the performance of his or her duties. This award may be based upon extraordinary efforts in the prosecution of a specific case or cases, or a longstanding record of contributions to the prosecution profession, law enforcement or community.
Recipients will be recognized annually at the Attorney General’s Summit on Public Safety.