WEST CHESTER, PA (February 3, 2023) – The Crime Victims' Center of Chester County, Inc. is proud to announce the winners of the 2022 Peggy Gusz Victim Advocacy Award and the 2022 John J. Crane Child Victim Advocacy Award, two local allied professionals who have shown true dedication to victims in Chester County.
The John J. Crane Award was presented to Detective Mike Buchmann of the West Whiteland Township Police Department at the West Whiteland Township Meeting on January 25, 2023. The John J. Crane Award for Child Victim Advocacy was created by CVC in 1998, as tribute to the late Chester County prosecutor, a nationally recognized advocate for crime victims – especially children.
Detective Buchmann was chosen by CVC’s Board of Directors for the 2021 Award for his years of service in law enforcement and his dedication to child victims in Chester County. He has been with the West Whiteland Township Police Department for 19 years. During that time he has worked patrol and then moved to the Criminal Investigations Unit as a Detective. In this role, Mike investigates the majority of child abuse crimes reported to West Whiteland. He also undertook a voluntary assignment above his normal responsibilities, working the FBI’s internet crimes against children team. Prior to West Whiteland, Mike worked for Birmingham Township Police was active as an EMT with Good Fellowship Ambulance for many years including serving on their board.
West Whiteland Chief Lee Benson shared “It is such a special honor for Detective Buchmann to receive this recognition from CVC. He works very hard every day investigating serious crimes against children and building solid cases to help prosecute those who victimize our most vulnerable residents. He is a credit and a great asset to the West Whiteland Community”.
And as a happy coincidence, both CVC and the West Whiteland Township Police Department are celebrating their 50th Anniversaries this year.
Rachel Houseman, Esquire of Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (LASP) was chosen to receive the 2022 Peggy Gusz Victims’ Advocacy Award. The Peggy Gusz Award was created in 2018 to recognize Margaret “Peggy” Gusz’s longtime victim advocacy efforts since CVC was formed in 1973. Through her efforts, she helped give a voice to victims when their needs went unmet and helped change the attitudes of law enforcement professionals, medical professionals and the legal system toward victims.
Rachel was chosen by CVC’s Board of Directors for the 2022 award for her over 20 years in legal services and her dedication and service to victims and their families in Chester County. Since starting at LASP, she has worked alongside CVC’s Victim Advocates assisting clients with obtaining Protection from Abuse orders. She has also represented CVC clients in family law cases. Rachel will be presented with her award at a small ceremony at CVC’s Office in West Chester in February.
CVC’s CEO Christine Zaccarelli, Esquire worked with Rachel for over 15 years at LASP and shared, “In my opinion this award is long overdue! Rachel is truly an amazing advocate for victims of crime, their families and so many others in Chester County. I know firsthand the difference she has made in the lives of so many. Rachel and her team are vital to CVC, without her and LASP, I have no doubt that the legal needs of some of our clients’ would go unmet.”
The Crime Victims' Center of Chester County, Inc congratulates Detective Mike Buchmann and Rachel Houseman, Esquire for their partnership with CVC and the dedication and commitment to victims and their families in Chester County.
The Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Inc. (CVC) is a nonprofit agency providing free,
immediate, and confidential crisis response and compassionate support to children and adults
impacted by sexual violence and all other crime.
We provide assistance through counseling, advocacy, resources,
and education. The Center fosters community awareness and understanding through its comprehensive outreach and prevention programs. To learn more, visit www.cvcofcc.org.