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An article in the newspaper had a concerning subject inreference to helping abuse victims. A group called “Guardians of the Innocent”has stated they work with local law enforcement to help those who have beenabused. I have never heard of this group until the article came out, and Icannot find one agency that does, or has, worked with them.
I do not doubt the sincerity of this, or any, organizationthat wants to help others. While the intention is good, it takes a lot morethan good intentions to deal with abusive situations. When a group talks aboutbecoming a vigilantly or performing extractions within our community, causessome concerns with law enforcement.
Victim advocacy is a serious subject that can, first andforemost, have dire consequences for the individuals involved but also cantaint a criminal case if not handled properly. This is why we work with Cole County Prosecutors Victims Advocate andthe Rape Abuse Crisis Services (RACS). These are professional organizations,with counselors who have been vetted and specifically trained for thistask. I stand with local law enforcementagencies in saying that we only work with reputable organizations that meet thesame criteria.
Authority: Sheriff JohnWheeler
Cole County Office ofSheriff