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Racine County Victim-Witness Staff to Assist in Las Vegas Recovery

District Attorney Tricia Hanson is proud to announce that she is sending Racine County’s Victim-Witness Coordinator, Latonia Lewis, and her staff member, Laura Morgenson, to Las Vegas from October 11, 2017 – October 15, 2017, to aid with recovery efforts in the wake of this month’s mass shooting.  The Victim-Witness Assistance Program locally is an arm of the Racine County District Attorney’s Office, and is in place to assist victims and witnesses through the criminal court process.

On October 9, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt put a call out to Attorneys General Offices across the country due to a desperate need for victim-witness personnel to provide help and support for victims and their families in the Family Assistance Center.  Wisconsin’s Attorney General Brad Schimel wasted no time calling upon the Wisconsin Office of Crime Victim Services to enlist the highly trained and professional victim-witness professionals from here in Wisconsin.

On October 2, Clark County, Nevada, opened the Family Assistance Center at the Las Vegas Convention Center to assist families and victims of the mass shooting incident that occurred October 1, leaving 58 dead and hundreds wounded.

The Family Assistance Center is a 24-hour facility that will operate until further notice. It is staffed with professionals and volunteers trained to provide mental health support and guidance through the legal processes of death notifications, personal effects distribution and the provision of memorial services. The center is set up to provide several services for family members, including registration, dining, childcare, interfaith reflection, and in some cases medical and lodging assistance.  Private interviews are conducted with family members to gather items to aide in the identification process. The items may include dental records, DNA samples, photos and other information. Meetings also are conducted to notify relatives when a decedent has been identified and to provide counseling.  Families also receive updates on the course of the investigation during daily group briefings.  The Family Assistance Center is closed to the media and the public.