5 hours ago
Saturday, October 9, 2010
One of the things brought on by budget cuts and shortfalls in our state, is reduced manpower throughout it's agencies. That means an increased workload for the remaining personnel, including duties that were routinely performed by a specialized position in the past. In this particular instance, I'm referring to the no longer existing position of Victims Service Coordinator. We used to have a guy who did nothing but deal with all of the victims of the crimes our offenders perpetrated. He took advantage of the Early Retirement offers brought on by the budget cuts, and now, field agents deal with all the victim stuff as well. I'm here to tell you, it's a load of crap and a waste of time.
Now, before you get your dander up, hear me out first. I have no problem in dealing with real, legitimate victims. I will spend time on the phone with them, I will go out to their homes, and do everything I can to assure them that I will keep an eye on the criminal that hurt them, and if they step out of line, I will come down on them like a ton of bricks.
However, real "Victims", seem to be few and far between in this particular line of work. Most of the people I have to deal with claiming to be 'victims', have been Dramatized, not traumatized. I've got one woman who calls at least once a week, where I'm lucky to get off the phone in less than thirty minutes, and all she wants to talk about is how hard her life has been. Nothing to do with the actual crime the offender is on probation for, she's just using it as an outlet for talking about herself. Blow her off you say? Well, when that happens, meaning I don't return a call in response to a voice mail fast enough, she immediately calls my supervisor. If my supervisor isn't in, or doesn't return the call fast enough, she goes right on up the chain bitching and whining until she gets a hold of someone, who promptly rolls that ball of crap back down hill with explicit orders for me to get on the phone and stay there until this woman is satisfied.
We've become so scared of offending someone who might potentially be, maybe, kinda sorta, a victim of something, that I believe we've lessened what it means to be a victim, for any real victims out there.
What brings this all to mind, is that with our VSC gone, one of our responsibilities now, is sending out Victim Letters. This means, when an offender is in violation status, and is going to be taken in front of a Circuit Judge to face having his/her probation revoked, and being sent to prison, we have to send out letters to the 'victims', notifying them of the time, date, and place of the hearing, so that they can be present if they so desire, or submit a statement for us to present to the judge on their behalf. In general, this isn't a problem, however, one a ran across yesterday just really got my goat.
The dirtbag in question is on for multiple charges, the one causing me problems is this: Pointing and/or Presenting a Firearm at a Person. It's a legitimate charge. You point a loaded gun at someone, and that's a viable threat to that person. However, in this particular case, of the fourteen Victim Letters I was required to send out, only one person actually had the gun pointed at them, and was threatened. The other thirteen, were covered by the muzzle as the dirtbag waved his gat around, gesticulating and ordering the one person who was actually threatened around. However, every single one of the remaining thirteen felt dramatized to such an extent, that they filled out paperwork to be kept abreast of anything that might ever happen with this idiot's case.
Ever been at the range, and had some idiot cover you with the muzzle of a loaded firearm? You might be a victim! Even if you were 8 lanes over, with multiple people and rows of shelving between you and the idiot, you go right ahead and claim 'victim' status, because sure as crap, no one is going to gainsay you, on the off chance that you might sue somebody for Mental Anguish or some crap.
These idiots call themselves 'victims', like it's some sort of badge of honor. Like it somehow puts them on the same level as a real victim, of a real crime. They just want a few minutes in the spotlight, and someone they can complain to who can't hang up on them without getting their own tail in the wringer. They cheapen the title of victim, and take time away from people who could be dealing with victims of real crimes that physically, emotionally, and/or psychologically scar them.
No idea where I'm going with this, other than that whiny people with no real problems just torque me off!
Take care all,