Juvenile Assessment Center Wins FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award
The FBI Denver Division has recognized a local non-profit that helps victims of child sex trafficking and other troubled youth with its most prestigious national citizenship award, the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA.)
The Juvenile Assessment Center, known as the JAC, received the award Thursday morning during a press conference at the FBI Denver Division. Executive Director Kira Suurvarik accepted the DCLA on behalf of the organization’s staff and board of directors.
Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) and FBI Denver Division personnel at FBI Denver Headquarters, where the JAC was presented with the Director’s Community Leadership Award on March 10, 2016.
“This is truly an honor for us, thank you,” said Suurvarik. “We are proud to partner with the FBI’s Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force to find and recover children from adults who are sexually exploiting them in Colorado and Wyoming.”
Leaders within the FBI Denver Division chose to honor the JAC for working with children and teens who use drugs, run away from home, struggle in school, and face mental illness. The JAC also partners with the FBI Innocence Lost Task Force to stop human trafficking. Together, they identified and recovered several girls and boys who were being sexually exploited last year during Operation Cross Country IX.
“Kira and the JAC have helped make the world safer for our children, have given parents a place to go when they’re at their wits’ end, and have helped create safe, healthy, and happy families,” said Denver FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. “Thank you for your community service and partnership with the FBI.”
Since 1990, the JAC has partnered with government and community-based agencies to provide coordinated responses for youth and families. Its partners include law enforcement, the Department of Human Services, school districts, mental health centers, non-profit providers, and juvenile justice agencies in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln Counties.
The FBI has been presenting the DCLA for more than two decades to publicly recognize extraordinary citizens and organizations that help make our communities safer today and in the future.