EL CENTRO – Imperial County crime victims and those in the Witness Program have had to deal with the County Probation Program until the District Attorney’s Office took over recently.
As victims and witnesses of crime deal with the emotional trauma of victimization, the District Attorney’s office has been given the task of aiding in court and with their emotional needs.
A smart move toward stabilizing emotional trauma has been Ginger, the Golden Doodle puppy. She is the first Crime Victim Assistance Dog in Imperial County. Ginger assists children and other vulnerable victims of crime to cope with the stress and trauma.
According to Gilbert Otero, District Attorney, his department has also implemented financial assistance for medical expenses, counseling, funeral and burial costs and compensation for lost wages.
Otero said that additional funding was distributed to local crime victims to provide emergency shelter, transportation to court hearings and medical appointments in San Diego.
His department trains advocates to provide mandated services such as crisis intervention, emergency assistance, assistance with funeral arrangements, court support and many other functions.
The D.A.’s office reports about 500 victims are served each year.
The California Emergency Management Agency has allocated $194,728 for the fiscal year 2014-15.