Mayor Darwin Hindman named this week Crime Victims’ Rights Week for Columbia during a ceremony honoring the 25th anniversary of the National Victims’ Rights Week at the Reynolds Alumni Center on Wednesday night.
“Justice isn’t served until the victims are,” Hindman said.
Former President Reagan named the week National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 and established the Task Force on Victims of Crime.
Hindman was one of several officials to speak at the event. Others included Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm, Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey and Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane, who emceed the occasion.
Mary Young, the keynote speaker from the National Organization of Victim Assistance, focused on community crisis response in her speech.
“A community in this sense is one bonded by a common crisis,” Young said, adding that communities in crisis ranged from Oklahoma City after the attacks in 1995 to Pierce City after a tornado.
Young said Missouri stands out as a state that incorporates crisis intervention into law enforcement.
MU Police Chief Jack Watring said a police department has four responsibilities: prevention, apprehension, prosecution and crime victims. He said most departments focus on apprehension and tend to forget the victims of crimes.
Crane ended the ceremony by saying victims’ rights had made progress in law enforcement.
“We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot more to be done,” Crane said.