Police shift focus to victims during national week

SXSW crash memorial (Mark Batchelder/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — This week is National Crime Victim’s Rights Week.

It was started in 1981 to increase public awareness of their rights and the services available if people are ever victims of a crime.

Austin police held an event Thursday to shift the focus back to victims, like those killed in the South by Southwest crash.

“We’re honoring them, we stand with them,” Acevedo said. “And if they need something this police department is here…along with our colleagues around the region, state and country to stand with them and bring them justice.”

In 1989, Judy Brumbelow’s 13-year-old daughter was killed by their 12-year-old neighbor. Ever since, Brumbelow has been active in victim’s rights.

“Speak out and ask for what you need because there are a lot of people that are here to help,” said Brumbelow.

There are resources to help victims of violent crime. The Texas Attorney General’s Office maintains a fund to compensate innocent victims. The fund is meant to encourage victims to cooperate with police and prosecutors. State court costs, parolee supervision fees, and donations provide the money for the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund.

How can you help?

Many law enforcement agencies in Texas have units devoted to assisting victims of crime, but as with any agency resources are limited. To help fill the gap, both the Austin Police Department and Williamson County Sheriff’s Office accept volunteers. Click here to help out in Austin or here to help in Williamson County.

Those volunteers and employees are able to respond to any crime 24 hours a day.

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