December 17th 2020
Maryland Sheriff’s Office Honored with Crime Victim Services Award
National Sheriffs’ Association recognizes advocates for exemplary service to vulnerable populations
The Harford County, Maryland Sheriff’s Office Victim Services Unit (VSU) has been honored as the National Sheriffs’ Association 2020 Crime Victim Services Award winner. Making up the VSU are Deborah Bradley and Kara Dager, with a combined 30 years of experience in the field of victim advocacy.
The NSA recognized the Harford County Sheriff’s Victim Services Unit for its exemplary work with all victims of crimes or tragedies such as homicide and attempted homicide, rape and attempted rape, sex offenses, unattended deaths, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, home invasions, serious assaults, robbery and attempted robbery, police-involved shootings, overdose deaths, accidental deaths, suicides, abductions and attempted abductions, false imprisonment, hostage situations, fatal motor vehicle crashes, and fatal fires.
In 2019, the Harford County Victim Services Unit received a total of 271 reports and assisted 779 victims of crime or violence, guiding them through the recovery process. The VSU also responded to 59 callouts, providing crisis response to 197 victims, and conducted ten hours of community outreach and 35 hours of instruction. The VSU is available for on-call crisis response services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Bradley and Dager respond directly to the crime scene or hospital to assist survivors, provide trauma-informed services and make death notifications.
Established in 2005 with support from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the NSA Crime Victim Services Award recognizes outstanding achievement by a sheriff’s office in support of victims, and is sponsored by Appriss Insights —the nation’s leading provider of victim notification services and developer of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday).
Bradley holds a B.A.Sc. in Criminal Justice and has served as the HCSO’s Victim Services Coordinator for more than 18 years. She is a Nationally Accredited Victim Advocate (C.A. – Victim Intervention Specialist) and is a certified Victim Assistance Specialist (VASIII) in Maryland.
Dager holds a B.S. in Biblical Studies with a concentration on counseling. An employee of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office since 2005, Dager created the agency’s Trauma Recognition and Coordination (TRAC) program to utilize contact of the HCSO deputies during their normal duties to identify children who have been direct or indirect victims of crime or violence. In 2019, TRAC reviewed 771 cases for referrals to additional resources.
“Appriss is honored to continue to sponsor the Crime Victim Services Award in partnership with the National Sheriffs’ Association,” said Lalla O’Bryan, Vice President of Victim Services at Appriss Insights. “We are proud of the incredible victim support from the Victim Services Unit in the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. On behalf of Appriss, I congratulate Ms. Bradley and Ms. Dager and extend my deepest gratitude to them for their immeasurable impact on the lives of survivors.”
About the National Sheriffs’ Association
The National Sheriffs’ Association is one of the largest associations of law enforcement professionals in the U.S., representing more than 3,000 elected Sheriffs across the nation, and with a total membership of more than 13,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among Sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice. Throughout its eighty-year history, NSA has also served as an information resource for all law enforcement, as well as State governments and the Federal government.
About Appriss Insights
Appriss Insights is the developer of the Appriss Insights Platform, the nation’s most comprehensive source of incarceration, justice, and risk intelligence data. We are a team of technology and data science experts who provide insights and analytic solutions that support informed decisions for early response to people-driven fraud and risk. By delivering real-time notifications, context-sensitive risk assessments, and actionable insights, we enable government agencies and commercial enterprises to save lives, fight crime, prevent fraud, and manage risk. For more information visit ApprissInsights.com.