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May 23, 2017
PCCD Presents Governor’s Victim Service Pathfinder Awards

Harrisburg, PA.On behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) presented the Governor’s Victim Service Pathfinder Awards on May 9, 2017 to five individuals and one program in recognition of their work to enhance the lives of crime victims.

The Pathfinder Awards recognize individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond in their efforts with the victims of crime. By highlighting their achievements, PCCD honors their notable contributions to their communities and the victim service provider field.

The Pathfinder Individual Direct Service Award was presented to Tracey Cook of Johnstown. Ms. Cook has been employed with Victim Services, Inc. of Somerset and Cambria Counties since 1995, and currently serves as the Victim Compensation Coordinator and Somerset County SART Coordinator. After more than two decades of service, she is still a driving force in Victim Services and in the community.

The Pathfinder Allied Professional Award was presented to Jennifer Gettle of Palmyra. Ms. Gettle is employed as Chief Deputy District Attorney with the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Gettle has taken an innovative approach to advocacy, including implementing a dog therapy program in order to help victims overcome their fear of testifying.

The Pathfinder Organizational Capacity Building Award was presented to Alison Hall of Pittsburgh. Ms. Hall is employed as Executive Director of Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR). Under her leadership, PAAR does innovative work often leading the way in the county, state, and nationally.  Ms. Hall has also pushed through organizational change that showed great vision and added innovative services.

The Pathfinder Prevention, Education, and Outreach Award was presented to Leon Strimel of Canonsburg. Mr. Strimel is employed as Lead Prevention Educator with Crisis Center North (CCN). Mr. Strimel has been instrumental in growing curriculum and the impact of CCN’s prevention education programming.

The Pathfinder Survivor Activist Award was presented to Eric Stiles of York. Mr. Stiles is employed with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center as a Project Manager. A survivor of sexual assault when he was very young, Mr. Stiles has dedicated his story of survivorship to the betterment of all victim services and communities through his training and counseling efforts.  

The Pathfinder Program Award was presented to the Victim Assistance Canine Program (VACP) with Crisis Center North of Pittsburgh. CCN’s VACP is an innovative program which has attracted regional, state, and national attention. From canine selection to the training employed, CCN's VACP is forging the way in utilizing canines to address trauma with this state-of-the-art program.

The awards were presented during PCCD’s fourteenth Pathways for Victim Services Conference at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Dauphin County. PCCD is the Commonwealth’s lead agency for criminal justice policy issues. PCCD also provides essential support services to law enforcement agencies and offers financial assistance to victims of crime.

Our Mission is to enhance the quality, coordination and planning within the criminal and juvenile justice systems, to facilitate the delivery of services to victims of crime, and to increase the safety of our communities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kirsten Kenyon, (717) 265-8505