Often times when crimes are committed the victims or their families may not realize they can have an ally in the form of an advocate. The Gadsden County sheriff is hoping to bring awareness to the community by introducing the Victim Advocate Program.
In April of this year a quadruple murder in Gadsden County sent shockwaves through a quiet neighborhood. Three days later a Quincy man shot two people inside his home, crime scenes that can be terribly stressful for those involved, but there’s an ally in the Gadsden County office willing to help put victims at ease.
Whitney Sampson, victims’ advocate, says, "A lot of people who are victims of crimes don't know where to turn, don't know where to go. They have incurred a bit of expenses from a crime and that can be traumatic for a family or for an individual."
But thanks to a grant from the attorney general's office, victims or their families can now get help while law enforcement officials work diligently to catch the perpetrators.
Sheriff Morris Young of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says, "Through this program the liaison can concentrate on supporting the victims and we can concentrate on going after the culprit who committed such crimes."
The crimes range from drunk driving to murder, all of which can be resolved with the help of the victims’ advocate.
Young adds, "I want the public to be aware that we have support here through the Sheriff's Office.”
And through the office the advocate can provide an array of services ranging from crisis counseling to financial assistance. If you are a victim or a family of a victim and need help, please call the Victims’ Advocate Line at 850-893-8838.