Monday, April 13, 2020

Week to Focus on Crime Victims’ Rights

The Sequoyah County commissioners unanimously approved Monday the declaration of April 19-25 as national Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Cindy Smith, an investigator with the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office, said Monday that although the official event is next week, the actual celebration has been postponed until the COVID-19 pandemic eases.  

The celebration, last held in Sequoyah County in 2018, was a huge success, Smith said, and was made possible by a grant, which the sheriff’s department was able to renew this year.

Smith said law enforcement agencies that receive the grants have been permitted to delay their own crime victims’ rights celebrations until June 30. She said she will let the public know the amended schedule as soon as possible.

“We WILL have it again,” Smith insisted, “as soon as this COVID-19 eases up and we can get out.”

Smith said the Sheriff’s Department’s VOCA advocate is a critical part of its response to crime, and to victims. The advocate helps crime victims navigate the criminal justice system by offering assistance such as car rides, housing and more. “We support all victims of all crimes,” Smith said.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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