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Crime Victims’ Rights Week Provides Empowerment

on April 18, 2019 - 9:39am
Los Alamos Police Cpl. Adele McKenzie discusses Crime Victim's Rights Week. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/
Los Alamos Daily Post

The mission of Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 7-13, was to give empowerment. So those suffering from abuses reach for assistance and others provide help to individuals who need it.

Crime Victim’s Rights Week is a national program but locally it was recognized through a proclamation presented by the Los Alamos County Council as well as informational cards posted on Atomic City Transit buses and 14 New Mexico Park and Ride buses.

The cards provided the websites and telephone numbers of local, regional and state-wide agencies that offer help to victims of crimes.

Cpl. Adele McKenzie of the Los Alamos Police Department said 5,000 cards were printed and while Atomic City Transit only offered the cards April 7-13, she said they will be available at different organizations. The police department’s lobby will also stock the cards and McKenzie said New Mexico Park and Ride plans to continue offering them.

The cards were purchased through a $1,400 National Crime Victim’s Rights Week Community Awareness Project subgrant. McKenzie pointed out Aspen Copies printed the cards for the police department. She added that during Crime Victim’s Rights Week the information on the cards were widely distributed on public transit.

“We were able to cover all the way from Las Vegas (New Mexico) to Albuquerque,” McKenzie said. “I think it is so important … to empower others and to help them first with their inner strength. In my seven years as a police officer I’ve noticed some people don’t know resources exist or they don’t take action to find resources.”

Sometimes people aren’t even sure a crime was committed, she said.

Local resources include Self Help, Family Strengths Network and Los Alamos County Social Services. The police department also offers resources, too.

For instance, McKenzie said the Los Alamos County Victim Assistant project can help with everything from filling out forms to providing moral support for a victim during court. McKenzie said the County Victim Assistant project can also direct clients to resources. All the services are free, confidential and do not require a police report. Those needing the service can call 505.663.3511

The police department provides other resources such as Safety Town. This year, McKenzie said the program will be 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. June 10-14. The program is free and open to students entering kindergarten.  She said the course touches on a range of topics such as bike and pedestrian safety as well as riding on the bus.

Parents access a registration form for the program here: 2019 Safety Town Registration Form.pdf

Additionally, a Domestic Violence Task Force meets noon to 1 p.m. the third Tuesday of month at the upstairs meeting room at Smith’s Marketplace. The task force is open to everyone.

Finally, McKenzie commended the Chaplain Corps and its work, which can assist victims of crime and offenders. Whichever program it is, McKenzie emphasized help is available to those who need it.

“We try to let people in the community know there’s help,” she said.

She also emphasized if people know someone needs help, give them some assistance.

“Use your voice for good,” McKenzie said. “Use your days for something positive.”

This can lead to great results, she said.

“As officers we deal with crime and I do believe if we help in the front end there will be less crime on the back end,” McKenzie said.

However, it does require input from everyone.

“I think the hope is we all move forward together,” McKenzie said.