SEARCH Annual Awards Spotlight Leadership and Contributions to Justice and Public Safety
Each year, SEARCH bestows annual awards to honor a select group of justice professionals and government officials whose achievements and leadership exemplify SEARCH ideals of improving information use, management, and exchange among justice and public safety agencies.
The SEARCH Board of Directors selects the honorees, who are nominated by SEARCH Members and past award recipients. The select group is recognized in three broad categories of leadership: national leadership, policy leadership, and SEARCH service.
The SEARCH Board selected the most recent honorees at its March 2022 meeting, all of whom will be recognized during an awards ceremony at the 2022 SEARCH Annual Membership Group Meeting July 19-21 in Denver, CO.
We are pleased to announce the following honorees:
O.J. Hawkins Award
The O.J. Hawkins Award for Innovative Leadership and Outstanding Contributions in Criminal Justice Information Systems, Policy and Statistics is SEARCH’s highest honor. It formally acknowledges an individual’s service, dedication, and contributions that have improved the justice community’s ability to develop and use criminal justice information. In particular, award recipients have made outstanding contributions that have a broad-ranging impact, often affecting multiple states, justice disciplines, or branches of government.
It is the only nationally recognized, competitive award for contributions in the field of criminal justice information management, and is named for Orville J. (Bud) Hawkins, who was SEARCH’s first Chair and Executive Director, and a technological pioneer who successfully guided the organization through its crucial early years beginning in 1969. O.J. Hawkins’ distinguished career in law enforcement spanned nearly 7 decades, and included nearly 60 years of service to the California Department of Justice.
SEARCH began presenting the Hawkins Award in 1985. Check out the list of all past recipients, who include former U.S. Senators and Representatives, an FBI Director, an Attorney General, private-sector experts, and justice agency and organization officials at the state, Federal, and national levels.
Justice Policy Leadership Award
The Justice Policy Leadership Award formally recognizes the efforts and achievements of a member of Congress, an elected or appointed leader in federal or state government, or a recognized expert who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in promoting the effective and appropriate development of justice technology/information law and policy. In particular, this award honors justice policy leadership efforts that have had national implications or impacts.
Past recipients are U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) (2011); Ms. Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General (former), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (2012); and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) (2018).
The Gary R. Cooper Award for Meritorious Service honors a SEARCH Member whose work in the field of criminal justice information systems, policy or statistics has been outstanding. The award, named after long-time SEARCH Executive Director Gary R. Cooper (retired), enables SEARCH Members to recognize one of their colleagues for contributions both to the field of criminal justice information and to the success of SEARCH.
SEARCH began presenting the award in 1985, when it was originally called the Board of Directors Award for Meritorious Service. Upon Mr. Cooper’s retirement in 2003, the Board renamed the award to honor his 29 years of service to SEARCH, 20 of which were as Executive Director. Check out a list of all past recipients, who have represented state-level justice and public safety agencies and programs in 23 States and the District of Columbia.