County business offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day. The Health Department, the Records Division of the Sheriff’s Office and the County Landfill will also be closed that day. Emergency services will be in normal operation.
This also means the County Commission will not meet on Monday morning. It will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Courthouse, 1400 Main in Great Bend.
The last week in April may have been National Crime Victims Rights Week, but the needs of those impacted by crime continue even without any special recognition, Camila Komarek told the Barton County Commission Monday morning.
Komarek is the victims’ advocate with the County Attorney’s Office. She helps victims navigate the criminal justice system and speak their behalf.
“I am there to answer any questions they might have,” she said. She keeps them up to date on when charges are filed against those who harmed them and what those charges are, and scheduled court hearings.
She appears with them in the courtroom, and will even give them a tour of the facility prior to a hearing so they are more at ease. In addition, there are counseling services available, and her office helps them find sources of monetary reimbursement for expenses related to their case.
“It’s really a collective effort,” Komarek said. She works closely with local, county and state law enforcement, as well as local and state-level social service agencies.
Komarek reported the following statistics:
• In 2012, the Barton County Attorney’s Office prosecuted 366 criminal, 1,853 traffic, 123 juvenile offender, and 203 child-in-need-of-care cases with 300 new victims in the year 2012.
• In 2012 the victim advocate made 3,116 contacts to victims of crime in Barton County. These contacts include crisis counseling, follow-up information to cases, criminal justice support/advocacy, assistance in filing compensation claims, and of course telephone and postal contact.
• So far in 2013, the BCAO is in the process of prosecuting 172 new criminal and juvenile offender cases with 176 new victims and nearly 1,600 contacts have been made to victims.
In other business Monday morning, the County Commission:
• Approved the purchase of four new Motorola computers for the Barton County Communications Office at a price of $10,956 from Mobile Radio in Great Bend. Communications Director Doug Hubbard said the computers integrate the 911 radio system with other systems in the office, including computer-aided dispatching and records.
The machines, which have a life expectance of 10 years, replace ones that are just two and a half years old, but are already having problems. The computers are expected to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the old ones were less expensive and just not up to that use.
“We can take this as a lesson learned,” commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t the best.
The cost includes all the required hardware, software, a one-year warranty and technical support as long as the county owns the units.
While not up to the rigors of 911 duty, the old machines are still good. They will be reconditioned and used in another department, possibly the Sheriff’s Office.
• Authorized Hubbard to proceed with two days of computer-aided dispatch training through Global Software for up to six county employees, including personnel from Communications, the Sheriff’s Office and Information Technology. The cost for the training, which will take place in Great Bend, is $3,800.