Friday, April 11, 2008

Amy Smith Leaving the D.A.'s Office?!?!?!

Longtime Victim Witness Coordinator Amy Smith is leaving the D.A.'s Office on April 25, 2008 to head to work for CrimeStoppers, much to the sadness of her co-workers at the D.A.'s Office.

Although a certain candidate in the race for D.A. is claiming that she will be establishing a Victim Witness Division if elected, the Division has, in fact, been around for some time now.  Amy and the incredibly kind-hearted people that work with her on a daily basis have been helping the victims of violent crime since before I ever came to work for the Office.

Victim Witness first becomes involved in a victim's life when they send out preliminary letters to victims of all crimes (violent or not), seeking to gather information for Victim Impact Statements that will become relevant in the punishment of any given defendant.

When the case involves a homicide, they make quick efforts to locate the next of kin of the victims and let them know of all services that victims in Texas are entitled to.

While cases are pending, they will respond at a moment's notice when a prosecutor needs someone to help them when they meet with victims.  No seasoned prosecutor would even think about sitting down with the child victim of a sexual assault without a representative of victim witness sitting there with them to assist.

When cases go to trial, Victim Witness will often serve as the host to the victim's families.  Helping them with all their travel arrangements, keeping them updated on what is happening in court, and holding them when they break down.  I can't put into words the job these ladies do on a daily basis, because it is, quite frankly, amazing.

The Office literally could not function without them.  Although it's not a complete list, I know that my job couldn't have been done on many occasions without the work of people like Amy, Alex Moscoso, Diana Maldonado, and Colleen Watkins.  (NOTE:  Speaking of Diana, get well soon and get back to work!)

The job, in and of itself, is amazing.

The people who staff it are even more so.

Amy Smith has served as the leader of that Division since I can remember, and she was the perfect person for it.  Amy has the perfect blend of compassion, caring, and toughness to handle it.  And trust me, it is not a job for sissies.  

Amy's loss from the Office will be immeasurable, and it will certainly be CrimeStopper's gain.

Good luck in all your future endeavors, Amy!

And on behalf of the countless victims of crime that you (and everyone in V.W.) have helped over the years, a simple "thank you" will never be enough.

You all are irreplaceable.

7 comments:

jigmeister said...

I will need Amy to post the exact dates, but if my failing memory serves me, Amy is the 3rd Chief of that Division. Johnny started it very early in my career, maybe 80 or 81 with Suzanne McDonald who went on to make a name for herself in Austin and she was succeded by Gail O'Brien around 84 or maybe 5 years and then Amy took over. Since then it has grown in both importance and staff. I remember a capital case that could not have been won but for her help with a surviving witness. Despite the number of times she told me no, she always came through. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Amy will be greatly missed. She has been invaluable, and she certainly will be irreplaceable. I wish her the very best.

CJ Social Worker said...

Amy was one of the first people I met at the DA's Office. She taught me a lot.

I wish her the best and I'm sure the folks at Crime Stoppers will love her.

Ron in Houston said...

I'd think her job must have been stressful given the extent of human suffering she had to deal with. I'm sure it was rewarding yet stressful at the same time.

Leviathan said...

She will be missed.

alex said...

Yes, we are really going to miss Amy!!! Thanks for posting this!

jigmeister said...

Can't get Amy to post, but she tells me she is going over the crime stoppers with Katherine Cabiness. Sounds like a great job for her. I wish I could make it back for the retirement party.