MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and law enforcement officials are reminding the public that if you “see something, say something” by calling them or Crime Stoppers.
Police chiefs from across the state met with Crime Stoppers and media Monday to talk about the importance of public information in solving crimes.
Brundidge Police Chief Sam Green says the job of law enforcement often goes beyond the crime scene.
“I think it’s very important not just to solve crimes but also help the family with healing, the healing process, and also let them know that they’re not forgotten,” Green said.
Jennifer Grantham is the Executive Director for Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL). She hopes to help the healing process and shed light on the lasting impact of crime.
Every year, VOCAL sets up white crosses by the state Capitol, each one representing a homicide victim from the year before.
“I hope the impact is that they stop and they think about the victim and what the victim has to go through and the families that are left behind. It’s never over for them,” Grantham said.
Grantham says there are typically between 300 to 350 homicides each year in Alabama — every cross calling attention to the human toll.
“They didn’t ask to be victims. They didn’t ask to die. It’s important that we remember them and the price that they paid and the price that their family still pays,” Grantham said.
Ed and Eileen Carlson are visiting Montgomery from Birmingham. They say crime in their own city has made them think twice before going out.
“It’s just heartbreaking, to hear every day, young people, children, innocent children hit by stray bullets, and you know it really gives us pause before we go downtown,” Eileen Carlson said.
VOCAL will be having a vigil at 7 p.m. Friday outside the Attorney General’s office to remember those lost to crime in the state.