Dallas: Sgt Patrick Welsh Wins National Award
Sgt Patrick Welsh Wins National Award
Today, Attorney General Eric Holder of the U.S. Department of Justice honored Sergeant Patrick Welsh of the Dallas Police Department Sexual Assault Unit as the 2013 recipient of the Allied Professional Award at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C.
The Allied Professional Award is given to those not directly involved in the victim assistance profession for their work for victims. Sergeant Welsh has commanded the Sexual Assault Unit for 17 years and has relentlessly pursued justice for victims of sexual assault. In 2001, he realized that there was a backlog of DNA kits collected from sexual assault victims which had never been analyzed or entered into any of the criminal justice databases. These DNA kits dated back 20 years and held DNA profiles of unknown offenders. From this, Sergeant Welsh began the Sexual Assault Cold Case Program (SEACAP) which would process any evidence from Sexual Assaults which occurred between 1970 and 1996. These sexual assaults all had statutes of limitations which had expired. Though none of these offenders could be prosecuted for these specific crimes, the identification of the offenders could be made known to the victims. In 2009, Sergeant Welsh and several sexual assault victims offered testimony to the state of Texas regarding these non-prosecutable offenses and from their testimony, the landmark DNA Notification Law was enacted. This law requires the state to note in the perpetrator’s criminal history that they have been linked by DNA to a sexual assault for which they can never be tried.
The below video is an interview of Sergeant Patrick Welsh and Carol Bart, a sexual assault victim who nominated Sergeant Welsh for this award.
Office for Victims of Crime Award Gallery