Community leaders and the public will take a walk Wednesday to raise awareness for victims of crime.
The Walk of Hope is noon-1 p.m. in downtown Paris. Participants will walk from Culbertson Fountain, around the court house, to Bywaters Park to show their community support.
“By engaging the whole community, more victims can be given the information and assistance they need to make informed decisions about their own lives as they recover from crime,” said Victim Assistance Coordinator Jane Adams of the Lamar County and District Attorney’s offices.
This year’s mission, “serving victims, building trust and restoring hope,” focuses on strengthening communities, raising awareness of victims’ rights and addressing unmet needs of those affected, according to the Office for the Victims of Crime, an extension of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The event helps raise awareness during National Crime Victims Right’s Week, April 10–16.
“Help the public realize that victims of crime need support to heal and begin the process of rebuilding their lives,” Adams said.
Participants meet at Culbertson Fountain. An opening prayer will be offered by Calvary Chapel Paris Pastor Phil McKay, and Boy Scouts Troop Two will present the flags. Chief of Police, Bob Hundley of the Paris Police Department, will be the guest speaker. Students from local high school Junior Crime Stoppers programs will be participating.
Krissy Green will provide music and food and drinks will be donated, including hot dogs by Toyota and cookies from Subway, with Harmar Bottling donating soda and McGraw Oil/Kwik Chek providing some water bottles. Admission is free.
The Crime Victims Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act to help support thousands of assistance programs across the nation. The program reimburses individuals and families affected by crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, DWI and homicide.
“In the past 20 years, from 1995 through 2015, we have had 48 victims involved in 44 homicide investigations. Of those 44 cases, 10 are still open,” said Paris Police Department Chief Bob Hundley.
Sponsors this year include Lamar County District Attorney’s Office, CASA for Kids, Lamar County Sheriff’s Department, Lamar County Adult and Juvenile Probation, Lamar County Child Welfare Board, Paris Police Department, Reno Police and Fire Departments, Safe T Crisis Center, New Hope Center and the Children’s Advocacy Center.