In 1997, District Attorney Howard established an awards program titled ‘A Voice for Victims.’
From the onset, the goal of the annual awards ceremony was to recognize heroes in the Fulton County community, particularly law enforcement personnel, who put their lives on the line every day for the protection of victims. The District Attorney soon realized there was another category of mostly unsung heroes who deserved recognition as well: everyday men and women who stand up for victims, not because they have to, but because they choose to, despite incredible personal sacrifice.
Each year, citizen heroes are honored with a signature ‘Voice for Victims’ plaque in addition to being featured in a video vignette highlighting their heroic deeds. ‘Officers of the Year’ from Fulton County law enforcement jurisdictions are also recognized with the signature plaque for their service.
‘A Voice for Victims’ is typically held in the month of October during National Domestic Violence Awareness month.
The 2011 honorees are outlined below:
- Jessica Maple– The 12-year-old Junior DA who rose to national fame after solving the burglary of her great-grandmother’s South Georgia home—confronting a suspect and beating police to the punch.
- Eileen Kelly, Owner of Doguroo- Kelly, and her team at the dog care services business she owns, rescued a canine victim in an animal cruelty case from euthanasia. The dog was considered ‘cage crazy’ and unadoptable. Doguroo rehabilitated the animal at its own expense. He now resides with a loving family.
- Michael Reed & Daniel Frisch- The citizen heroes came to the rescue of an Atlanta Police Officer who was under attack by a suspect. The men radioed for help and held the suspect down until back-up arrived.
- Dean Moore- The Morehouse student who saved a stranger from a sexual assault. He wrestled the knife-wielding attacker away from the victim, ultimately saving her life.
- Keisha Head- Forced into prostitution as a child, then a Madame, the former human trafficking victim is now an advocate for young children facing a similar fate.
- Tyler Perry- The Atlanta Media Mogul, star of stage television and screen is being recognized for his charitable spirit. Perry came to the rescue of a Coweta County great-grandmother raising her seven grandchildren after the family’s home burned down days before Christmas. Perry provided a temporary home for the family then built them a new home at his own expense.
The Andrea “Nikki” Blanton Good Samaritan Award
In 2007, the District Attorney’s office introduced the annual “Nikki Blanton Good Samaritan Award” in memory of former “A Voice for Victims” recipient Andrea Nicole Blanton. Blanton and her boyfriend were struck by a car on an interstate ramp in 2006 after stopping to pull a trapped motorist to safety. Nikki suffered numerous injuries from her crash and died of complications a year later. Nikki’s determination to overcome her ordeal was such an inspiration that District Attorney Howard dedicated a “Good Samaritan” Award in her honor.
The 2011 “Nikki Blanton” award recipient is:
- Spencer Pass- The State’s first H.E.R.O. (Highway Emergency Response Operator) killed in the line of duty. Pass was assisting a stalled motorist when another driver lost control, striking and killing Pass instantly. Pass is being remembered for his service and his sacrifice.
Officers of the Year
Officer Keith Roach
Atlanta Police Department
Officer Mike Schulman
Alpharetta Police Department
Sgt. Keith Stanley
College Park Police Department
Corporal Calvin Ponder
East Point Police Department
Detective Charles Israel
Fairburn Police Department
Detective Richard Randolph
Fulton County Police Department
Detective Coretta Floyd
Fulton County Sheriff’s Department
Officer Jeff Chapman
Hapeville Police Department
Detective Kevin Barry
Milton Police Department
Officer Rebecca Spratlin
Palmetto Police Department
Detective Mark MacDonald
Roswell Police Department
Detective J.T. Williams
Sandy Springs Police Department
Master Patrol Officer Darrell Barnes
Union City Police Department