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City crime victims have a new supporter

The Walterboro Police Department has a new Victim’s Advocate, which is a person who will help support victims of crime in the city and who will ensure they are involved in the judicial process.
Shatoya Gray was hired as the city’s victim advocate in June of 2018, but she is no rookie to the department. Gray has already been with the Walterboro Police Department for seven years. She began her law enforcement career with the WPD as a 911-emergency dispatcher in 2012. She is currently going through extensive Victim Advocate training at S.C. Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia, S.C.
At the academy, she will receive her Class One Certification for law enforcement.
According to Lt. Amye Stivender, spokeswoman for both the Walterboro Police Department and the Walterboro Fire Department, Gray will be able to maintain her role as the victim advocate by receiving this certification, which will make her a certified law enforcement officer.
As a victim advocate and certified law enforcement officer, Gray will serve and support any victim of a crime that occurs in the city and that the WPD is investigating. Her role is one to keep the victims involved in the judicial process by informing them of what is happening in their case within the police department. Her services with victims continue into the courtroom.
Gray also offers support services that the crime victim might need, such as counseling.
Stivender says Gray will also be a part of the police department’s community outreach programs: these programs incorporate officers into the community through activities, such as summer snow cone days, festivals or school activities.
Gray is the only victim advocate for the entire police department and will oversee all victim services for the department. She will help any victim of any crime, from burglary to assault.
“Her position is vital to our department, as she is the face and voice of our victims of crimes,” said Stivender. “She provides education, understanding, and counseling to those who are going through what may be the most difficult and confusing situation of their lives,” she said. “She is part of the Support Service Division at the police department, and takes a huge role in our community outreach programs.”

Heather Walters (1529 Posts)