Victim Witness Specialist position applauded

Letter to the Editor
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Dear Editor,

A recent article in the Briefs explained that funding was secured to provide for a full-time Victim Witness Specialist. This is definitely a needed addition for Big Horn County. Hopefully this person will have the skills to work with alleged victims to obtain honest information to help the alleged victim, as well as determine the truth in the situation. As many have learned in recent years getting it wrong causes consequences not only for the alleged victim, but many in the community. Several incidents that have happened in our community in recent years have left many that doubt the ability of the Big Horn County Sherriff Department to keep them or the community safe.

An April 24 article in USA Today discussed the problem of officer misconduct that is happening across the U.S. In the U. S. over the last 10 years, there have been over 85,000 officers disciplined for misconduct, with over 30,000 officers being decertified. The misconduct included several issues such as excessive use of force, witness and evidence tampering, as well as intimidation of individuals. The article included a link where readers could look at individual offices.

Not surprisingly Big Horn County is no exception to these problems.

The article in the Briefs indicated that the Victim Witness Specialist was hired to put a focus on children. Regardless of the age of the individual they assist, they will need to remember that they are working with alleged victims and should be available to help all alleged victims, including those that are victims of a police officer. Each time an officer mistreats an individual or tampers with evidence they are creating a victim.

Brian Wolf

Hardin

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