Posted Monday, April 8th, 2019
The Morris County Board of Freeholders today proclaimed this week of April 7-13 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2019 in Morris County, calling attention to trauma faced by survivors of crime and honoring those who help them deal with the aftermath of crime.
Deputy Freeholder Director Heather Darling joined Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Prosecutor’s Victims Witness Unit Coordinator Donna Pasquariello, Sheriff James M. Gannon, and other county law enforcement officials and police chiefs, at special event held this morning in Morristown to raise awareness about the impacts of crime on victims.
Veteran news reporter Brian Thompson of WNBC-TV in New York – and a New Jersey resident – addressed the audience this morning at the invitation of Prosecutor Knapp.
A special guest was Laurie Parks of Randolph, whose teenage daughter, Jennifer, was a fatal victim of crime in 2005.
Freeholder Darling, in her remarks, spoke of the work that has been done on behalf of crime victims over the past several decades in Morris County, efforts that pre-date the enactment of the Crime Victims Bill of Rights, which became part of the New Jersey constitution in 1991.
“To victims and survivors of crime, I would say that justice simply means that you are treated with respect—that you are listened to and actually heard,’’ said Freeholder Darling. “It means that you will have a voice in vital decisions that are made in relation to your cases, as well as to your lives.’’
She also lauded the prosecutor Knapp’s staff as leaders in the movement to have victims and survivors of crime treated with dignity and compassion, and to have their most important needs identified and addressed.
Text of the County Proclamation:
Whereas, each year, millions of Americans, including Morris County residents, find themselves being victims of crime, with each crime impacting many more people, including families, friends, and communities; and
Whereas, crime exacts an emotional, physical, psychological, and financial toll on its victims, who often lose their sense of security, and that has the potential to change the course of their lives forever; and
Whereas, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and its Victim Witness Advocacy Unit are firm in the belief that every crime victim deserves to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect; and
Whereas, the members of the Victim Witness Advocacy Unit work diligently to ensure that every crime victim they encounter is provided with the crisis and emergency assistance and support needed to help make his or her participation in the criminal justice system less difficult and burdensome; and
Whereas, Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2019 in Morris County provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the foundation of victims’ rights — fairness, dignity and respect — and to recommit to honoring those values;
Now, Therefore, I, Douglas R. Cabana, Director of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, proclaim April 7 to April 13, 2019, to be Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Morris County, reaffirming this county’s commitment to respect the rights of crime victims and to address their needs.