WASHINGTON, May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch today honored three Texas Department of Family and Protective Services employees during the annual Missing Children's Day ceremony.
The Attorney General presented Special Investigations Program Director Ray Romo and Special Investigators Owen Hinkle and James Backfisch with the Missing Children's Child Protection Award, which recognizes the extraordinary efforts of law enforcement officers who made a significant investigative or program contribution to protect children from abuse or victimization.
"The selfless and heroic acts that we recognize today are proof that vigilance and compassion can stand as bulwarks against the dangers faced by our children," said Attorney General Lynch. "I am inspired by the courage of our award recipients and proud to stand with them as we work for a safer and more just future for the young people of America."
The team received the award for their combined efforts to develop a runaway protocol program and their work with law enforcement and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to recover and protect runaway foster children from sex trafficking. The program, initiated in September 2011, is now implemented throughout the state and has saved many children from sex trafficking.
In addition to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services team, the Attorney General recognized the efforts of two other individuals and an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their extraordinary efforts to protect children. The Attorney General also recognized Michael Wu, a fifth grader from Walnut Elementary School, Walnut, Calif., as the 17th winner of the Annual National Missing Children's Day Art Contest.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.
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SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs