Morris County Observes 43rd National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

April 26, 2024

Morris County, NJ

Prosecutor’s Office Hosts Recognition and Remembrance Event

In recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2024, law enforcement, elected officials and community leaders joined the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) this week to raise awareness and highlight progress in laws and services for victims and their families.

View Photos from the MCPO’s 2024 Crime Victims’ Rights Week Event

The keynote speaker was Chief of Police David Kullgren, Newtown, Connecticut, who served as the staff commander leading the response to the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

“In observance of Crime Victims’ Rights Week, it’s crucial that we, as leaders, reaffirm our commitment to the safety and well-being of our communities,” Kullgren said. “This starts with empowering our staff with the necessary training and resources to uphold the highest standards of performance. By equipping them with the tools and knowledge they need, we not only enhance their ability to serve effectively but also show our unwavering dedication to supporting victims and preventing further harm.”

Sheriff James M. Gannon also participated as a guest speaker at the annual event, which was held in the Morris County Administration & Records Building in Morristown. Morris County Commissioner Director Christine Myers presented a proclamation to Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, recognizing April 21 to April 27 as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“Rising crime leaves us all scarred and undermines our confidence in the justice system,” Commissioner Director Myers said. “It’s during weeks like this that we can focus on the progress made for victims and their families. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated people here today who support victims of crime.”

Following this year’s theme, “How Would You Help? Options, Services, and Hope for Crime Survivors,” the MCPO Victim/Witness Advocate team launched an awareness campaign to highlight the services available to the public. Bookmarks, designed in partnership with the Mail Library Alliance, were distributed throughout Morris County.

The MCPO has been a leader in victims’ advocacy for many years, establishing the Morris County Office of Victim/Witness Advocacy in 1982.

“The Prosecutor’s Office strives to make justice for victims a priority,” said Prosecutor Carroll. “The Victim/Witness Unit helps victims understand their rights, guides them throughout the criminal justice process and connects them with supportive services.”

The Hope Hub/Community Connections programs, operating through the sheriff’s office, were highlighted as resources to aid victims through difficult times.

Sheriff Gannon, a former Morris County homicide investigator, concluded the event with a quote from an article in The Star-Ledger, dated Oct. 28, 2008: “James Gannon, a retired Morris County homicide investigator, has this veteran-cop idiosyncrasy. He calls cases by the victims’ names.”

Gannon emphasized the focus of Crime Victims’ Rights Week: “It’s not about the offender; it’s about the innocent victims of crime. That’s something that was taught to me. In this line of work, you see the worst and best of humanity. In many cases, particularly homicide cases, the best we can hope for is justice and loss. There’s no victory, there’s no high fiving—just justice and loss.”