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Detective receives first Special Courage Award at conference

A detective who works to bridge the gap between children’s services and law enforcement was recognized with the first Special Courage Award during the awards ceremony of the 2017 Two Days in May Conference on Victim Assistance.

Det. Jennifer Schinkal of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office who works with Highland County Job and Family Services to keep children safe from abusers received the new award, which was added to the program to recognize an individual who has demonstrated strength, resiliency, and perseverance in serving crime victims.

“This award is very special to me,” she said. “It’s proof that what I am doing is helping my community, especially kids.”

Schinkal, who has played a pivotal role in the prosecution of those who sexually abuse children, said she tries to provide courage for the survivors when they may not have anyone else supporting them.  
“I always look at every child on my caseload as ‘my kid’ and fight for them with all I have,” she said.  “‘My kids’ keep me going every day.”

Among the other recipients are:
  • Michelle Carpenter, the CEO of Haven of Hope Inc. in Guernsey County, received the Robert Denton Special Achievement award for her efforts in setting up a comprehensive system of services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking that involves coordination among service agencies, the courts, law enforcement, and the hospital.
  • The Violence Free Coalition of Warren County, a DELTA FOCUS project, received the Promising Practice Award. The community collaborative works to prevent intimate partner and sexual violence by building community resources, providing education, promoting system change, and raising public awareness. 
  • Sandy Huntzinger, coordinator of the Ohio Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Program, received the new AGvocate Award. She has been working to end violence against woman and children for almost two decades. Huntzinger often volunteers to serve victims during her free time and was instrumental in the development of a domestic violence program at her workplace.