- Ouray County Victim Services
Ouray County Victim Services
If you are a victim or are in need of support or guidance, or if you have any questions, please feel free to call or stop by the Sheriff’s Office Monday through Thursday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. 421 6th Avenue, Ouray. Office: 970-325-7272
Please see the 7th Judicial District for additional resources: https://www.co7da.org/victim-services/victim-resources/
The Victim Rights Act (VRA) in Colorado ensures that crime victims are treated with fairness, respect, dignity and that they are free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse. Colorado voters amended the state Constitution to include Victim Rights in 1992.
The victim services program is one of the most important divisions or resources for any policing agency. Our job as law enforcement officers is to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone, and quite frankly without an effective victim services program, our ability to do this is drastically decreased. Consistent and continuous monitoring and support provides the necessary means by which our victims remain safe and receive the dedicated service they deserve.
Ouray County law enforcement agencies attempted volunteer programs in the past, but these were sadly ineffective. The difficulties with volunteer programs in our region has been finding citizens who have the knowledge and experience dealing with and handling the situations many of our victims encounter. The time it takes to provide the necessary service often surpasses any volunteer’s timeframe capabilities. In addition, very few volunteers desire to be in an on-call status, which is a very critical aspect of a victim services program. Crimes against persons occur at all times of the days, nights, and holidays. In 2015, Ouray Police Department, Ouray Sheriff’s Office, and Ridgway Marshal’s Office teamed up with Tri-County Resources and created a Victim Services program tailored specifically for Ouray County. Through grant funds (Victim Assistance & Law Enforcement Fund grant), victim advocacy services were funded and provided to all who were in need.
In 2017, the program was primarily functioning through an amazing group of victim advocates within the Seventh Judicial District, who were on-call and highly responsive to the agencies of our county. Towards the middle of that year, Ouray county law enforcement agency executives came together and decided a more formal system-based program was essential to better serve our victims. The three presented to the Victim Assistance & Law Enforcement grant board and were successful in receiving over $40,000 in non-matching funds to support our new victim services program, which included a part-time employee with guaranteed weekly hours. The format and structure of the Victim Services program has not changed since its inception and still functions with a part-time victim advocate. In late 2022, it was decided to administer the Victim Services Program through the Ouray County Sheriff’s Office, which began in January 2023.