Group aims to tackle issues affecting victims of crime

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A new group in Shelby County is aimed at preventing the kinds of problems that led to the county taking over the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center.

In an executive order, Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton said the goal of the new Victims of Crime Advisory League will be to advise county leaders on issues that pertain to victims of crime.

"So there will be no glitches," he said. "No one will fall through the cracks."

At a news conference, Wharton said the transfer of MSARC to county supervision is complete, and he thinks the new countywide advisory league will help MSARC perform much better than the agency has in the past, especially when it comes to reaching an adequate number of nurses and other staff.

"We think we have struck a delicate balance," he said.

Wharton said sexual assault will be only one of the issues his new advisory league will address.

"The focus of the committee will not be exclusively on sexual assault matters, when know that there are victims of other crimes who suffer in the same way," he said.

The news media was not invited to the advisory league's actual meeting, but afterward Wharton said members represent a cross section of citizens, and some have even been crime victims themselves.

Ultimately, Wharton said, the groups input will be to provide a way for Shelby County to get a better handle on crime by identifying victims needs and focusing on legislation addresses those needs.

The goal of the crime advocacy league is to have from 20 to 25 members.  The next meeting is August 13th.

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