|April 23, 2020
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced the recipients of the Attorney General’s Distinguished Victim Services Award in recognition of the honored law enforcement officers’ and victim advocates’ efforts in assisting crime victims. The annual ceremony commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week was canceled this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but awards will be mailed to this year’s winners.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These hardworking and compassionate individuals from across our state have protected and guided victims of crimes through the process, treating each survivor with dignity and respect while helping them cope. They have been there to comfort family members who have lost loved ones to murder, and help seniors recover after becoming a victim of a scam. Florida is a stronger, safer place because of their efforts, and I am honored to be able to recognize these outstanding Floridians for their service and recognize that their work continues even as the state fights to stop the spread of COVID-19. Floridians need to know that help is still available to victims of crime.”
Earlier this week, Attorney General Moody reminded victims of domestic violence that help is still available despite the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about how nonprofit organizations are adapting to protect victims' health while continuing to offer services, click here.
The Florida Constitution and Florida Crime Victims' Bill of Rights give crime victims or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of homicide victims, many rights, including the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to be free from harassment, intimidation or abuse, and to have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered when setting bail or pretrial release conditions.
The following victim advocates received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Victim Services Award:
- Alexander Puga—Miami-Dade Police Department
- Tania Sanchez—Miami Beach Police Department
- Yvette Scurry—Lee County Sheriff’s Office
- Detective Chastity Burke—Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
- Agent Aja Stake—Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
- Sgt. Billy Townsend—Union County Sheriff’s Office
To learn more about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, click here.