Cleveland Victim Specialist Receives Prestigious FBI Director’s Award
|FBI Cleveland November 25, 2013|
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for investigating a wide range of federal crimes. Part of the FBI’s work involves providing information and assistance to victims of those crimes. FBI victim specialists are highly trained professionals who can assist victims of crime and coordinate with other agencies in providing support, information, and resources.
Crime can have a devastating effect on victims and their families, some of which may need help coping with the impact of victimization. Our victim specialists work to ensure that victims of crimes investigated by the FBI are afforded the opportunity to receive the services and notifications required by federal law and by the Attorney General Guidelines on Victim and Witness Assistance (2005). Victim specialists are proactive in identifying victim assistance resources in the communities and developing good working relationships with the providers. They make referrals for victim services, such as counseling and support groups. In addition, they have regular contact with other victim-witness coordinators and they are participants in local, regional, and statewide victim assistance networks.
Today, November 25, 2013, we honored FBI victim specialists, including Cleveland Division Victim Specialist Jennifer Meyers. In a private ceremony held at the offices of the FBI's Cleveland Division, Ms. Meyers was presented a prestigious award by FBI Director James Comey during his visit to the FBI Cleveland Division Field Office.
Ms. Meyers was one of 11 victim specialists throughout the country who received the highest award possible within the FBI, The FBI Director’s Award, for distinguished service in assisting victims of crime. The award was given for the extraordinary effort and courage shown assisting victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Ms. Meyers, along with her colleagues, provided this service despite being confronted with the stressors of one of the most horrific mass murders in United States history. The team demonstrated exceptional effort in treating victims with respect and concern, ensuring that they were provided with support, information, and assistance throughout this ordeal. Their actions in the days that followed should be remembered as one of the proudest moments in the history of the FBI’s victim assistance program.
Ms. Meyers is also a member of the FBI’s Victim Assistance Rapid Deployment Team (VARDT). This team is composed of specially selected and highly experienced and trained FBI victim specialists, who provide crisis intervention and victim assistance services in mass casualty situations and in conjunction with local agencies. The FBI’s VARDT has been deployed to other mass casualty incidents across the country to include the Washington Navy Yard shooting; the Boston Marathon bombings; the Tucson, Virginia Tech, and Fort Hood shootings; and others.