Ceremony marks start of Victims’ Rights Week

by Kim Robins - Posted on Apr 24, 2013 - 02:09 PM

Gloucester County Commonwealth’s Attorney Holly Smith opened a brief ceremony in the county courthouse Monday that marked the start of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

"This year’s theme is ‘New Challenges, New Solutions.’ It reflects the increasingly complex mission of our victim advocates today. Every day there seems to be a new type of crime and new ways to commit those crimes. Together, we work to ensure that victims receive the dignity and respect that they deserve," Smith said.

"Over the past year, a number of high-profile crimes have highlighted the scope of the challenges we face," she continued. "The shooting massacres in Aurora, Colorado and the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State showed the public what we see every day—the searing impact of crime on victims and the inadequacy of tools and, at times, even the laws we have to meet their needs."

"This county is no exception. Our work to ensure the rights of victims, prevent future violence and reach all victims has never been more urgent," Smith said. Remarks were also offered by county supervisor Ashley Chriscoe.

During the ceremony, Gloucester Sheriff Darrell Warren presented the Sally Kerns-Kent Johnson Award for Outstanding Service to Victims of Crime to Steve Perry, an investigator with Warren’s office.

"He dedicates many hours to each of his cases to ensure a successful outcome, which brings closure for his victims. He is enthusiastic and motivated, respectful and kind and victims are appreciative of his response," Warren said of Perry.