Volunteer Victim Advocates
Back Row L/R: Darwin Highlen, Lynne Seeger, Matt Seeger, Geir Hundsbedt, Jerry Harrington
Front Row L/R: Nancy Cook, Levi Dever, Linda Harrington, Cameron Steele
Missing: Sara Kuczynski, Lang Yang.
In 1996, Sheriff Kern recognized a need for volunteers to assist his deputies at the scene of a crime or serious accident. The Tuscola County Victim-Witness program was formed and volunteers were trained and the program sanctioned by the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. The program currently has a full-time coordinator and 14 volunteer Victim Advocates meeting the needs of the citizens of Tuscola County who become victims of crime. The volunteers also assist victims of disasters, accidents and the survivors of suicide victims. The Advocates are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to the scene, hospital or police department. They provide crisis intervention, referrals, transportation and accompaniment to the hospital, court or domestic violence shelters. Advocates also assist in making death notifications. The Advocate acts as a liaison between citizens and law enforcement, the judicial system and social support services.
If you would like more information on how to become a Volunteer Advocate, please contact, Nancy Cook, Victim Services Coordinator, at (989) 673-8161 ext. 2241.
Specific services provided by the Tuscola County Volunteer Victim Advocates include:
- Notification of death or injury due to accidents, homicides, suicides and other incidents
- Emotional support during medical, criminal justice and law enforcement procedures
- Assistance at the scene of accidents, assaults and other traumatic situations.
- Aid in utilizing services agencies for assistance with emergency needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and transportation.
- Court orientation, support and advocacy through the judicial process until disposition of the case and beyond, if needed.
- Assistance in filling out paperwork for PPO’s , Victim impact statements and crime victims compensation.
- Personal advocacy, as needed.
- Participate in public awareness activities.