Power of One Award

Many individuals can attest to the backbone of nonprofit agencies – our volunteers. Quite often the unsung heroes of this work – they dedicate their free and personal time to helping us advance our mission in so many different ways. Much of what we are able to do is in large part, because we have an incredible group of volunteers and this includes our energetic and invested board of directors.
Every now and then, there is one that stands out in the crowd. One whose loyal dedication and unwavering commitment to the community deserves special recognition.  So, this year, the staff of VSS has decided to institute a special award to illustrate our grateful appreciation for those who go above and beyond. The “Power of One” Award was presented at our Voices of Victims luncheon on March 28, 2018.  
This year’s recipient of The Power of One Award goes to a detective that began his career in law enforcement at the age of 21 when he was hired on with the King County Sheriff’s Office (1991).  After spending a few years in patrol, he was selected for the SeaTac Street Crimes Unit where he investigated vice and narcotics cases. He then went to the Fraud Unit for a short time before joining the King County Major Crimes Unit in 1998.  There, he investigated homicides, robberies and felony assaults. He was the lead investigator for several major homicide cases and was named Detective of the Year in 2002 for his diligent work on a Homicide Case where a young woman, her boyfriend and the boyfriend’s parents were murdered.  He was also the lead investigator for the Carnation Massacre of 2007 where an entire family was murdered on Christmas Eve by another family member. He followed this case through 2 years of back-to-back trials 7 years after the murders. While in the Major Crimes Unit, he joined the Cold Case Squad where he worked on several unsolved murders and ultimately brought suspects to justice, giving closure to many families.  In addition to his work at the Sheriff’s office, he has served on the board of directors for VSS for the past 7 years. Although we might not be able to boast about his golf score at our tournaments, his commitment to victims and their families has been unwavering and nothing short of exceptional throughout his career. His dedication and passion for justice has made the difference for countless victims in Washington State.
Sometimes it only takes one person to ignite a movement – to inspire others to take action – to be a true shining example of the very principles for which we (as an agency) stand. This award symbolizes the time and energy that one person has generously donated to help VSS advance the mission and to being a vital link in the chain that drives our operation. VSS is honored to present our first ever, “Power of One” Award to Scott Tompkins.

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"With the help of VSS, you are empowered and encouraged to fight back and be pro-active. Then your conscience can be more at peace because you know you have taken some action to protest crimes inflicted on your loved one. It is sometimes your only consolation."

“The one takeaway for me in working with VSS is that it is a necessary organization. I know they are funded by grants and fundraisers but it’s something we need to make sure as a community that they have the funding needed because what they do for people in need doesn’t happen anywhere else. This is the only place that this happens and VSS helps with so many things.”

David Rose

Anchor, Q13 News and Host, Washington’s Most Wanted

“VSS is there when the unthinkable happens.  When a police officer knocks on your door and gives you tragic news, VSS helps navigate the court system, which can be very confusing. VSS is compassion, caring, and commitment. Commitment to once justice is done that victims and their families can move forward with their lives.”

Jennifer Gregerson

Mayor, City of Mukilteo

“VSS has been our partner in recovery and healing and a key part in what makes Mukilteo Strong. VSS has been a trusted advocate for the victims that have suffered so much in the community.  I’m so grateful to VSS as our partner in strength.”

Jon Nehring

Mayor, City of Marysville

“VSS is there for people in their darkest hour. At a time when they need an advocate and friend, VSS steps in to fill that gap and help them begin their journey back to some sense of normalcy.” 

Myrle Carner

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound

“This thing about closure. There is never really closure in a victim’s life but VSS helps individuals to get closer to that and that’s critical because the cops and the judicial system just move on to another case because they don’t have time. Victims live with this trauma forever so VSS is with them for as long as they need the services. VSS takes the time, more importantly, they really care."

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