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County prosecutor presents Victims’ Rights Week Awards


XENIA — National Crime Victims’ Rights Week was observed April 24 at the Nutter Center, with Greene County Prosecutor David D. Hayes presenting awards to Fairborn Police Det. Joshua Lightner, Shannon Berkheiser of Cedarville University, and Tina Spencer, a volunteer with the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office Victim/Witness Division.

Lightner received the David P. Eckert Outstanding Law Enforcement Service Award. He has been with the Fairborn Police Department since 2017 and was promoted in 2022 to the Detective Division. Lightner has developed partnerships with victim advocates on cases and always encourages, supports, and empowers victims to be engaged participants in the criminal justice process. He has shown a solid work ethic in effectively investigating cases, according to a release from the prosecutor’s office.

Berkheiser is the Cedarville University Title IX coordinator and accepted the Jane Amstutz Outstanding Community Service Award. She has worked at Cedarville University since 2020, and she has provided services as a counselor, advocate, and community educator since 2007. Berkheiser’s work in educating students and staff about local victim services available to Cedarville students and faculty has been invaluable, and she has established an equitable, thoughtful, and caring process for all students, the release said.

Spencer is a two-time recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer Advocate Award. She is a volunteer advocate in the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office Victim/Witness Division. She has been a volunteer advocate since 2017 and brings more than 15 years of volunteer experience as a victim’s awareness facilitator with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to her role. Spencer volunteers almost every weekend and on holidays and makes herself available on short notice. She is a senior marketing analyst with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Hayes believes that National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a time to celebrate progress, raise awareness of victims’ rights and services, and stand with those whose lives have been impacted by crime.

“The work of protecting victims and helping them through the challenges of the criminal justice system would not be possible without dedicated police officers and volunteers,” he said.