Partners for Justice Program being led by Prosecutor and Victim Assistance offices

During the inaugural meeting of the Meigs County Partners for Justice Program, Middleport Police Department’s Lt. Chris Pitchford was named the Meigs County Officer of the Year. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner.

POMEROY, Ohio – A new collaboration has been formed to aid in helping those that have been victims of crime.

According to Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney James K. Stanley, his office along with the Meigs County Victim Assistance Program has formed Meigs County Partners for Justice, which is a victim of crime collaboration board. The inaugural meeting took place at Farmers Bank in Pomeroy, Ohio on January 11, 2019. The mission of the board is to bring together law enforcement officers, victim advocates, service providers, and others who assist victims of crime throughout the criminal justice system to ensure that victim rights are preserved and exercised and that there are no gaps in services provided to victims.

Middleport Police Chief Bruce Swift (standing) and Assistant Chief Mony Wood talk with Meigs County Victim Advocate Theda Petrasko at the luncheon. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner.

Stanley opened the January 11 meeting with an introduction and overview of his vision of the future of Meigs County Partners for Justice. A victim of crime delivered an impactful speech regarding her experiences with the criminal justice system and why certain aspects need to improve. Elizabeth Well, an attorney and director of the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center, spoke about the application of statutory and constitutional victim rights. Stanley presented Middleport Police Department Lieutenant Chris Pitchford with the Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office 2018 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. The meeting concluded with a lunch prepared by Director of Victim Assistance Theda Petrasko and her daughter.

“Meigs County Partners for Justice is long overdue, and I am glad Theda spearheaded this program,” Stanley said. “I have been on a similar victim-oriented collaboration board in the past, and I saw firsthand the solutions such a board can provide when tackling myriad issues victims of crime face throughout the criminal justice system. The ultimate goal is to ensure that no victim’s rights are violated and that no victim walks away from his or her experience with the criminal justice system believing that anyone failed him or her.”

Various agencies were represented at the meeting including (from left) Meigs County Job and Family Services by Director Chris Shank, Meigs County EMS Director Robbie Jacks and Meigs County Commissioner Randy Smith. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner.

Approximately fifty people attended the meeting, and the agencies represented included the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Middleport Police Department, Pomeroy Police Department, Racine Police Department, Syracuse Police Department, the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas, the Meigs County Court, the Meigs County Juvenile Court, the Meigs County Board of Commissioners, the Meigs County Clerk of Court’s Office, the Meigs County Department of Job & Family Services, Health Recovery Services, Hopewell Health Centers, Integrated Services, the Meigs County START Program, the Meigs County CASA Program, the Meigs County Victim Assistance Program, and the Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Also recognized during the meeting was Middleport Police Department Lt. Chris Pitchford for his work with victims. Lt. Pitchford was named the Meigs County Officer of the Year.

Anyone who wishes to participate in Meigs County Partners for Justice may contact James K. Stanley or Theda Petrasko at 740-992-6371.