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In photo left to right:  First Assistant District Attorney Jackie Bernard, District Attorney Richard Consiglio, Victim/Witness Coordinator Sue Griep, husband Gary Griep, and Ms. Kathy Buckley

Individual Direct Service Award

Award Recipient:  Sue Griep, Victim/Witness Coordinator, Blair County Victim/Witness Program
Nominator:  Richard A. Consiglio, District Attorney, Blair County
 
 Ms. Sue Griep began her career in the victim’s right field 25 years ago, when victim witness programs were in their infancy statewide. She created the first Victim/Witness Department in the Clearfield County District Attorney’s office, working with victims and their families on criminal cases, homicide prosecutions.  It was there where she formed the first homicide support group in the state and was told it wouldn’t work, but it did.  Survivors understood and helped each other.  She also created a special evening called a “Night to Remember” for families of homicide victims, a commemorative book for families affected by homicide called the “Circle of Life,” which allowed families to remember their loved ones through pictures, poems and letters.  The books were paid for through donations from the community, available free of charge and placed in local libraries.  
 
In 2000, Ms. Griep brought leadership to the Blair County District Attorney’s Victim/Witness Department, expanding the program from a single staff position to a complement of four full time victim/witness personnel.  She also implemented several innovative and creative efforts to empower those impacted by crime.  These initiatives included a homicide support group called United Survivors, a speakers bureau which provided victims with an opportunity to share their stories with others, including state prison inmates and a faith based program called “Singout for Crime Victims”, which is an evening of inspirational songs and testimonies from victims who share the importance of their faith in the aftermath of a crime. 
 
In addition, Ms. Griep was instrumental in efforts to purchase and install a teardrop shaped memorial stone in front of the Blair County Courthouse that reads “In honor and memory of those who have lost their lives to violent crime in Blair County, and their families”.  The Blair County Courthouse is the only courthouse in the United States that has such a memorial to crime victims on its grounds.  On any given day, you can pass by the courthouse and see families gathered for photos or individual leaving flowers at the site.  Ms. Griep also worked with support group members to establish a memorial scholarship a high school senior who plans to attend college, and who has had a family member who was a victim of a homicide in Blair County. 
 
Ms. Griep works tirelessly for victims of crime and is devoted to her community.      
 
Ms. Griep has received multiple awards including the American Cancer Society’s 1987 Volunteer of the Year, Tyrone’s Hometown Hero in 2013 and she was recently named one of Pennsylvania Business Central’s “Women Who Make a Difference”.  
 
On behalf of victims of crime and the victim services field, we thank Ms. Sue Griep for her innovation, collaboration and unfailing commitment to victims of crime.