Special Victims Unit Sergeant Receives Award

The Justice Department on April 12, 2019 presented Sergeant Amy Dudewicz of the Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Sheriff’s Department with the Allied Professional Award during the annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. This honor recognizes individuals from a specific discipline outside the victim assistance field for their service to victims and/or contributions to the victim assistance field.

“Sergeant Dudewicz has dedicated almost a dozen years with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office to helping child and adult victims of sex crimes,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “By implementing innovative programs and fostering new partnerships, she has been a steadfast ally of victims and a staunch advocate of children who are at risk of harm—and other jurisdictions are catching her vision.”

During her career with the Crimes Against Children and Special Victim units of the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Department, Sgt. Dudewicz has helped to implement the Operation Safe Child program. Using a referral system through the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, detectives make contact with high-risk families and help them access services to prevent further family deterioration. Sgt. Dudewicz has expanded Operation Safe Child to include other county and state entities, nonprofit organizations and law enforcement agencies. Under her leadership, the program sorts through about 150 referrals per month.

“Law enforcement efforts to protect victims can benefit from collaboration with child protection services as well as other county, state and nonprofit organizations,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth. “Sergeant Dudewicz’s inspiring work shows how these agencies can work together to prevent crimes as well as close cases.”

The Department’s Office for Victims of Crime, a component of OJP, leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and hosts an annual award ceremony. President Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, calling for greater sensitivity to the rights and needs of victims. This year’s observance takes place April 7-13, with the theme “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.”

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