By Steve Tawa
COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. – (CBS) – Prosecutors in four South Jersey counties, and their offices, filled the Collingswood Grand Ballroom Thursday to honor their own during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Two people in the Camden County system were singled out. They were Dr. Martin Finkel, the medical director and co-founder of the CARES Institute, and Hilda Vega-Rodriguez, the Assistant Area Director, Division of Child Protection & Permanency.
Dr. Finkel evaluates and treats children alleged to have been sexually abused. Vega-Rodriguez, according to Prosecutor Warren Faulk, brings “care and compassion to vulnerable children.”
“One can only imagine the horrors that Hilda has seen as a field worker, investigator and supervisor in thousands of abuse and neglect cases,” Faulk said.
Also honored were two Gloucester County women — Debbie Schanz and Jean Weaver — who visit teenagers and state prison inmates to talk about the murder of Schanz’s daughter by her boyfriend, and how crimes affect not just the victim and family, but friends and the community.
Mercer County took note of Sheriff’s Officer Bill Miller and Detectives Edgar Rios and James Letts of the Trenton Police, all of whom were escorting a victim of domestic violence when they were ambushed by the woman’s ex-boyfriend.
Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini says both Rios and Letts were struck by gunfire, but pushed the victim out of the way, returned fire and killed the gunman:
“It’s because of the valor that these three men exhibited to protect and serve that we in Mercer County are proud to recognize them.”
Salem County recognized Victim Witness Coordinator Sharmin Harvey.