BOP and TDOC Plant Trees Honoring Victims of Crime

Monday, April 22, 2013 | 10:38am

Nashville -- For the fifth consecutive year, the Tennessee Board of Parole is observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with a series of tree plantings in cities across the state. Victim advocates in local communities are being honored at each ceremony for their work with victims of crime.

This year, the Board is adding the Department of Correction as a partner in these events. “We believe in strong collaborations, and TDOC is our closest collaborator,” said Board Chairman Charles Traughber. “We are allied in our missions toward safe communities, and we are allied in our concerns for victims."

By the end of this week, 47 trees will have been planted in the first five years of these events. “The Board of Parole has made a commitment to recognizing the important voices of crime victims and the work of victim advocates,” said TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield. “We are honored they have asked us to join them in hosting these events.”

The kickoff event took place Monday morning at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in downtown Nashville. They keynote speaker was Fox 17 Nashville reporter Erika Lathon, who became a victim of crime in an armed robbery last fall.

Two Davidson County victim advocates were honored during the event. One is longtime victim supporter Diane Sprow Lance, who has worked with domestic violence victims, and has prosecuted many cases of child neglect and abuse. She currently works as Special Counsel to Metro Davidson County Mayor Karl Dean. The other local honoree is former Metro Police Sergeant Pat Postiglione. As leader of the MNPD Cold Case Squad, he and his team solved many of Nashville’s most notorious cases. He recently retired from the police force, and now is an investigator for the office of Metro District Attorney General Torry Johnson.

The statewide honoree for 2013 is Dave Brown, chief meteorologist at WMC-TV in Memphis. In 1997, he lost three family members to traffic crash involving a drunken driver. Since then, he has presented hundreds of programs to encourage sober driving. One of his main focuses is educating teens about the life-threatening risks of drunk driving, and he conducts many programs during prom season each year.

Additional tree planting events for this week are scheduled for Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jackson, Springfield, Blountville and Murfreesboro.