The federal Office for Victims of Crime has notified Doña Ana County Sheriff Juan Hernandez that his department is one of only 400 nationwide receiving funding for National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which will be celebrated April 18-24.
In awarding the grant, the federal Office for Victims of Crime wrote to Hernandez, "We selected your plan because of your high levels of collaboration, community support and an opportunity to impact your community by raising awareness of victims' rights and services available to all types of crime victims."
The $5,000 grant will be used primarily to facilitate a candle light vigil for crime victims in Doña Ana County, along with advertising to promote the event. Hernandez said he will begin work immediately with La Casa and other victims' assistance programs to coordinate appropriate and timely events in the county to show that victims of crimes are not forgotten. He said he will also consider ideas from the community about how the money might be utilized.
"I'm honored that our community and my department have been recognized for the hard work we do to assist victims of crimes," Hernandez said. "This grant will allow our community to commemorate National Crime Victims' Rights Week in ways that otherwise would not have been available to us. I believe this grant award is further proof that my deputies and I are tackling crime without losing our compassion for the victims left in the wake of the criminals."
For more information, call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 647-7229. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7229.