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Delaware State Police

Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr.

DSP Spotlights the 2018 National Crime Victims’ Service Award Recipient

Date Posted: Saturday, April 21st, 2018

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The Office of Victims of Crime distinguishes those devoted individuals, programs and agencies every year that demonstrates exceptional service in support of victims. Historically, the National Crime Victims’ Service Award Ceremony has been presided over by the United States Attorney General and has been attended annually by victims of crime, victim advocates, allied professionals and survivors from around the country. The National Crime Victims’ Rights Week was observed on April 8th to the 14th   and on April 13th  of this year an award ceremony was held in Washington D.C. to honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts on behalf of crime victims.  Debra M. Reed, Director of Victim Services for the Delaware State Police was a recipient of the 2018 National Crime Victims’ Service Award.

Excerpts from the Nomination letter:

“…Debra Reed began serving crime victims in her home state of Delaware working for the Division of Family Services, Department for Children Youth and Family Services, as a child abuse investigator.   In 1989, she was selected by the Delaware State Police to develop a victim services program as their Assistant Director of Victim Services. This was during a time when little help existed for victims in the state of Delaware.  She has been the Director of the Delaware State Police/Delaware Victim Center ever since.

Ms. Reed has contributed to the development of, and through the year’s revision of, the foundational policies of the Delaware State Police/Delaware Victim Center as they relate to such issues as victim services, sexual assault, domestic violence, death notification, and crisis response etc. As demands and needs of victims have changed, Ms. Reed has risen to the occasion and responded with new and unique programs, such as an emergency financial assistance program to assist crime victims with immediate needs such as housing, medical costs, counseling etc. Under her leadership, the DSP/Delaware Victims Center has grown to be the cornerstone to the services offered in Delaware.  The DSP/Delaware Victim Center not only provides victim services to the Delaware State Police, but also to most of the 37 municipalities across the state.  Ms. Reed has been a consistently provided resources and technical assistance to local law enforcement agencies whose administrations have turned to her for guidance on the implementation of their own victim service units.

In 2009, Delaware was faced with one of its most difficult, most egregious tragedy that continues to impact our State. A well-respected pediatrician was found to have an extensive history of sexually abusing his patients. Over the course the investigation, under the leadership of Ms. Reed, the DSP/Delaware Victims Center implemented a victim-centered, trauma-informed approach to working with the families of the young victims of this predator.  Hundreds of victims were identified during the investigation.  Under the direction and supervision of Ms. Reed, victim services were afforded to all of those families, all while ensuring no interruption in the continuity of services to the numerous other victims who continued to require services throughout the state.

On February 11, 2013, a gunman opened fire in the New Castle County Courthouse at 8:30am, just as hundreds of employees entered the building to start their work day, and as two women, one of whom was there for a child support hearing and her friend, who accompanied her for support, women were fatally shot and two police officers wounded. With little information known immediately after the shooting, Victims Services throughout the shifted focus and priority to respond to the victims and witnesses of this horrific crime. Ms. Reed helped facilitate the coordinated response that day. When the courthouse needed to re-open two days later, Ms. Reed coordinated the response to ensure employees of the Courthouse and the members of the public felt safe and supported entering the building.

Known for her collaborative approach to victim’s services, Ms. Reed is often placed in active leadership roles on many local Boards and Task Forces. Some of these groups may include Victims Services Advisory Committee of the Delaware Criminal Justice Council, the Delaware Victim Rights Task Force, Domestic Violence Task Force, and the Delaware Center for Justice, the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence Board.

Ms. Reed received trained by the National Organization of Victim Assistance (N.O.V.A.) in national crisis response. She is the team coordinator for the state of Delaware and has responded to the aftermath of disasters in New York, Florida and Mississippi. She is also a Delaware Certified Domestic Violence Specialist through the Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence.

She is active with many local Boards and task force groups to include, Victim Rights Task Force, Domestic Violence Task Force, Victim Advisory Board, Domestic Violence Advocacy Center Board, and the Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence Board to name just a few. Ms. Reed is an instructor in the DSP academy and has also provided numerous public presentations throughout the community on topics related to crime victims. She also works in conjunction with several specialized DSP Units to include Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, Homicide, and Crash Reconstruction etc. She is also a SAKI (Sexual Assault Kit Initiative) board member and is instrumental is having untested kits sent for analysis and then convening those results to victims. Ms. Reed has also been a valuable asset to the State of Delaware is the arena of assisting those victims of Human Trafficking…”

Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr.

“Receiving the 2018 National Crime Victim Service Award is truly an honor. I applaud The Delaware State Police for supporting a Victim Services unit for more than 30 years. The commitment to service for crime victims has been unwavering.  The process of receiving this award has also provided a great opportunity for me to shine some light on the great work that is being done throughout the State of Delaware.   Not one of us can do this type of work alone; it is a collaborative effort among all of us in this field.  It is also a great chance to honor all victims and survivors, as it is for them and with them that we continue this work.”

Debra M. Reed, Director of Victim Services for the Delaware State Police

“It was my honor to nominate Ms. Debra Reed for consideration for the 2018 National Crime Victim Service Award. Ms. Reed is an integral part of our agency and has brought her mindfulness, support efforts and hopeful healing through our service programs and community outreach. With a distinguished career of over three decades serving crime victims in Delaware, I am truly proud of her commitment to others which ultimately led her to being a recipient of the National Crime Victim Service Award for the Delaware State Police.”

Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. Superintendent of the Delaware State Police

Presented by the Director of the Public Information Office, Sergeant Richard Bratz

Released: 042118 0701



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