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:

 Citizen Heroes

  • 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