SEARCH presented top leadership honors and awards to recognize Member and Staff years of service during ceremonies at its 2022 Annual Membership Group Meeting in Denver, CO, held at the Grand Hyatt Denver on Tuesday, July 19.
SEARCH presented its leadership awards for both 2021 and 2022, due to meeting delays caused by the pandemic. The annual awards 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.
Award recipients were nominated by SEARCH Members and past award recipients, and were selected by the SEARCH Board of Directors. Awards were presented in three broad categories: SEARCH service, policy leadership, and national leadership.
At a reception the evening of July 19, Executive Director David Roberts presented the Gary R. Cooper Meritorious Service Award, which honors SEARCH Members whose work in the field of criminal justice information systems, policy or statistics has been outstanding. Accepting the award were:
- 2021: Ms. Leslie Moore, Director of the Information Services Division, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, who also served as Chair of the SEARCH Membership Group and Board of Directors from 2018–2022. She was recognized for being an engaged, focused, and committed leader who is dedicated to service to SEARCH, her state, and the nation in leading efforts to improve the administration of justice.
- 2022: Ms. Kathryn Monfreda, Chief (ret.), Criminal Records Identification Bureau, Alaska Department of Public Safety, and former Vice Chair of the SEARCH Membership Group and Board of Directors. She was recognized as an active and steadfast leader who understood the challenges confronting criminal history repositories and lent her voice to advocating effective solutions.
At an awards dinner the evening of July 19, SEARCH honored Dr. Nancy La Vigne, Director of the National Institute of Justice, with the 2022 Justice Policy Leadership Award.
Dr. La Vigne was honored for her extraordinary leadership in guiding the effective and principled development of justice policy for information and technology management and operations nationally. The SEARCH Board specifically noted Dr. La Vigne’s knowledge and contributions in addressing, among other issues, policing and correctional reform, prisoner reentry, building police-community trust, and justice reinvestment.
At the awards dinner, SEARCH also bestowed its highest practitioner honor on the 2021 and 2022 recipients of the O.J. Hawkins Award for Innovative Leadership and Outstanding Contributions in Criminal Justice Information Systems, Policy and Statistics.
The award recognizes extraordinary leadership that improves the criminal justice community’s ability to develop and use criminal justice information ¾ and salutes a career of accomplishment and leadership. Accepting the award were:
- 2021: Dr. Alfred Blumstein, a renowned criminologist and Member of SEARCH for more than 35 years. In selecting Dr. Blumstein, the SEARCH Board of Directors cited the impact and significance of his work over a 54-year career that sought to understand the nature of crime and criminality, technologies and policies influencing criminal justice operations, and groundbreaking research on redemption.
Dr. Blumstein is J. Erik Jonsson University Professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research, Emeritus, at the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie-Mellon University.
- 2022: Mr. Robert R. Belair, Senior Counsel at Arnall Golden Gregory, and an internationally recognized data privacy expert who previously served as SEARCH General Counsel for 37 years. In selecting Mr. Belair for the honor, the SEARCH Board cited the profound influence he has had on the development of criminal history records policies and practices nationwide in a career that spans nearly 5 decades.
Years of Service Recognitions
On the morning of July 19, Chair Moore and Executive Director Roberts also recognized SEARCH Members and Staff for years of service to the organization, with significant length of service achieved in 2022:
- Ms. Leslie Moore, Director of the Information Services Division, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, was recognized for her 10 years of service as Kansas’s SEARCH representative. During this time, she served on the SEARCH Board of Directors, first as a regular Board member from 2015–2018, then as Chair from 2018–2022.
SEARCH Members recognized for 5 years of service were:
- Mr. Brad Cazort, Arkansas Crime Information Center
- Ms. M. Lisa Voss, Delaware State Police (who also serves as Vice Chair)
- Mr. Christopher D.W. Young, Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center
- Ms. Dana Gotz, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
- Major David (Tony) Flannigan, Missouri State Highway Patrol
- Mr. Jason Bright, Montana Department of Justice
- Mr. Adam Dean, New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services.
SEARCH Staff honored for years of service were Ms. Twyla Putt, Corporate Communications Specialist, 35 years; and Mr. James Douglas, Information Sharing Specialist, 15 years.