Ionia County Victims Services Unit is an immediate crisis intervention team.All Victim Services personnel are Ionia County residents and volunteers.They are available by request from local agencies:
- Fire and Rescue Squads
- Police Agencies
- Ambulance Personnel
- Hospital Staff
- Social Service Agencies
- State Attorney General Office
Prior to 1985, the loss, hurt and fear experienced by victims was made worse by a system which provided extensive legal rights for the criminal defendant, while ignoring the victim.
In November of 1988, the people of the State of Michigan overwhelmingly approve the Constitutional Amendment Article 1, Section 24, written by Senator William VanRegenmorter. The Crime Victims Rights Act became law on December 24, 1988. Crime victims in Michigan have the most complete legal rights in this county, bringing a balance to a system which had previously been heavily weighted toward the criminal. A concerned informed citizen is the criminal’s worst enemy. It is a proven fact that when citizens and law enforcement agencies work together as team, crime will decline.
Ionia County implemented the Victim Services organization in September of 1996. Working through the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, the first team was put into service in November 1996 after hours of specialized training. The unit works under direct supervision of the Sheriff. The unit is available at all times. The Michigan sheriff’s Association is one of the sponsors of the Ionia County Victim Services Organization. The Michigan Sheriff’s Association provides some of the training and education for the volunteers. MSA also provides some of the funding, through grants, to assist with the cost of running this program.
Victim Services of Ionia County is a non-profit, community based agency which assists police, fire and other emergency services in providing emotional and practical assistance to victims of crime, tragic circumstances and disaster.
- To lessen the trauma of being victimized.
- To help the victim cope with the impact of crime and/or tragic circumstances.
- To facilitate the victim in accessing appropriate support services in our community.
- To educate and promote victim assistance in our community.