Several agencies observed National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Los Alamos and White Rock Friday with a community outreach event coordinated by Los Alamos Police Cpl. Adele McKenzie. This year’s theme is “Strength, Resilience, Justice”.
“People think there are no resources for the victims of any kind of crime.,” McKenzie said. “We want to let them know that there is hope and help out there for survivors of all types of crime. There are many ways to get help and people should not feel alone”.
McKenzie and representatives of several local and area groups distributed t-shirts and informational material to the public at both Smith’s Marketplace in Los Alamos and the Smith’s store in White Rock. Earlier in the week, brochures and t-shirts were also made available to students at Los Alamos High School where McKenzie is the resource officer.
Each year, the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators provides financial support to up to 60 communities nationwide to conduct public awareness initiatives during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Police Chief Dino Sgambellone commended McKenzie for her initiative in applying for and obtaining the grant and for her hard work in getting all the agencies together for a very successful event.
Agencies who joined LAPD for the project include, Los Alamos County Social Services Division, Los Alamos Teen Court, Self Help, Inc., 2-1-1 of Northern New Mexico, Family Strengths Network, First Born Program, JudyGail’s Place, Los Alamos Family Council, Los Alamos Medical Center, Taos’s Community Against Violence, Solace Crisis Treatment Center, New Mexico Crisis and Access Line and Smith’s Marketplace.
Included in the material dispersed at Friday’s event was a brochure published by New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation, which includes information on assistance for victims who have suffered physical injury or extreme mental distress as a result of certain violent crimes. The crimes include assault or battery against a household member, human trafficking, abandonment or abuse of a child, and criminal sexual contact. Victims, family and dependents, or anyone who voluntarily assumes funeral or medical expenses of the victim may apply. Crime victim compensation is a source of financial assistance to a victim for out-of-pocket expenses that might occur as a result of a crime. For more information call 505.841.9432 or 800.306.6262.
Important information also was provided for two telephone resources available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The first is the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line, 855.662.7474, which has professional counselors available to provide free and confidential advice. Reasons to call that line might include having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, experiencing violence or abuse where you live, struggling with drugs and/or alcohol, or seeking support for someone struggling with their mental health. The second line is the Peer to Peer Warmline, 855.466.7100, which provides assistance for people who just need someone to talk to, who are looking for services in the area to help with their next step in recovery and resiliency or needs someone to talk to who has been there and may have experiencing some of the same things you may be going through.
The LAPD’s local victim’s assistance line is 505.663.3511. LAPD can provide information on protection orders, safety plans, understanding your rights, compensation for victims of crime, and much more.