Serving justice for local crime victims

Each and every day Michigan, another family grieves over the loss of a loved one who perished in a senseless violent act.

In Cass County, 93 people have been the victims of such heinous actions since 1989.

Last week, dozens of local residents who experienced the pain of losing a loved one to crime gathered outside the Cass County Law and Courts Building to recognize those 93 souls during the prosecutor’s annual flagpole ceremony. Joined by prosecutor office staff, court officers and employees, elected officials and members of local law enforcement agencies, the assembly read off the names of the county’s crime victims, laying 93 roses of the foot of a small stone monument erected in memory of these victims — and the ones that are sadly still to come.

The somber ceremony was one of the ways the prosecutor’s office recognized last week’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Started by the Office for Victims of Crime, a program through the U.S. Department of Justice, the week underscores the importance of recognizing and serving victims of crime throughout the country.

Besides the flagpole ceremony, the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office again reached out to local schools to commemorate the week, sponsoring a contest for grade school students to create artwork for a special “Going to Court” booklet, which will be provided to young victims to prepare them before testifying in court.

The prosecutor’s office also involved older county students with a high school essay contest, with the winners meeting and having lunch with Cass County Probate Judge Susan Dobrich.

The zeal with which Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz and his staff approach the recognition of victims’ rights week matches the drive they have in serving victims of crime in Cass County any time of the year.

In a news release Fitz’s office sent last week, it was noted that Cass County had a “victim-centered approach” when it comes to prosecuting criminals — an accurate assessment, in our opinion.

All one has to do is witness Fitz or one of the prosecutor’s in his office in action in the courtroom to see this principal at work.

Be they a family who had their sense of safety and security violated by a home invader or a man who lost his life to drunk driver, local prosecutors always seek justice for people who are harmed by crime — and for the greater population of Cass County.

We thank the members of the prosecutor’s office for their continued passion for serving the people of Cass County.

 

Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.

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