Wednesday, 21 September 2011 00:00

Walmart Donates Child Safety Seats to D.A.'s Victim/Witness Unit

MEMPHIS, TN September 21, 2011 - Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich announced today that Walmart Stores, Incorporated has donated seven child safety seats to her office.
The Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office provides transportation for subpoenaed witnesses who have no means to get to court. Oftentimes, their investigators arrive to transport witnesses who have young children and no one to care for them or a safety seat in which to transport them.
“This donation will help us get essential witnesses with children to court safely,” said Weirich. “We thank Walmart Corporation for providing a simple solution to a common hurdle in prosecuting cases.”
Mr. Jim Vanden Brook, Market Health and Wellness Director for Walmart, learned of the problem from his neighbor who works in the D.A.’s Office. The neighbor told Vanden Brook of a situation involving a witness in a trial, who needed a ride to the Criminal Justice Center at 201 Poplar. The SCDAG Victim/Witness Unit, arranged for an investigator to bring her downtown for court. When the investigator arrived, the witness had a small child and no means to transport the child safely.
“Tennessee State law requires that children riding in motor vehicles be placed in suitable child safety seats,” said Vanden Brook. “No child should have to ride in a vehicle without a car seat which is why Walmart is proud to provide some help for the victims and witnesses of crime by donating five child safety seats and two booster seats to the District Attorney General’s Victim/Witness Unit.”
The D.A.’s Victim/Witness Unit coordinates the appearance of victims and witnesses needed in the prosecution of cases. Victim/Witness coordinators in the D.A.’s office help reduce the confusion and frustration of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process. They also accompany victims and witnesses to the various court appearances. They serve as a source of communication and support to victims and their families.
“We have arrived at a time in the history of the criminal justice system when victims and witnesses to crimes are recognized as an integral part of the process in the prosecution of criminals,” said Ken Blackburn, Director of the SCDAG’s Victim/Witness Unit. “We make it possible for victims and witnesses to assist in the prosecution of each case tried in the 30th Judicial District.”