Attorney General Fox Presents Outstanding Advocate Awards in Billings
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox presented two 2018 Matt Dale Outstanding Advocate of the Year Awards at a ceremony this morning in Billings. The recipients, members of the Billings FBI’s Victim Specialist Team, were honored at an event held by colleagues and friends. Montana’s U.S. Attorney, Kurt Alme, was among those present.
Victim Specialists Michele Stewart and Erin Harris were nominated by federal and state officials for their advocacy work on behalf of crime victims and their families in nearly 1,500 federal/Tribal criminal and child protection cases. Ms. Stewart has served as an FBI Victim Specialist for 16 years. Ms. Harris has worked on the FBI Victim Specialist Team for nearly two years, and as a Child Protection Specialist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for the past decade. In addition to their FBI and BIA cases, Ms. Stewart and Ms. Harris are the primary organizers of two Multi-Disciplinary Teams in Indian country. The teams, comprised of law enforcement, prosecutors, child protection specialists, and health professionals, have become models of interagency cooperation.
Attorney General Tim Fox said, “The enormous volume of Michele and Erin’s work and the great difficulty it entails is unsurpassed. They serve victims of violent crimes and other offenses, including child sexual and physical abuse, human trafficking, and kidnapping. Their relentless dedication has assisted prosecutors in obtaining convictions in highly complex cases, and helped victims get the support they needed to become survivors.”
Attorney General Fox will present a third Matt Dale Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award on Friday in Butte.
For a list of previous winners, visit https://dojmt.gov/victims/crime-victim-advocates/outstanding-crime-victim-advocate-award-honorees/
The Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award is named in memory of Matt Dale. For 17 years, Matt directed the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection and Victim Services. Through Matt’s leadership, Montana instituted policies and programs to protect victims of domestic violence and prevent intimate partner homicides, including those in Indian Country. Over the course of his career, Matt became a national expert on the topic of domestic violence and travelled across the country speaking about Montana’s Fatality Review Team and its work. The award was named in his honor after his death this summer.