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Crime Victims Remembered at Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 09 Dec 2013 11:55pm | comments

For Many, the holidays are a time of gift giving and spending time with family. But as MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports for those who have lost a loved one to violent crime, it's a time to reflect.

Penny Lucas joined more than 200 people at the Attorney General's office in Jackson yesterday. They were there for a tree lighting ceremony honoring thousands of Mississippians who have fallen victim to violent crimes over the past 10 years. Lucas says even to this day the sting of losing her husband who was a police chief in French Camp continues to haunt her.

"Actually it started out as just a traffic stop, an innocent traffic stop which ended up being something very tragic that effected our lives forever. At the time my son was 5 now he's 14. So it's bee, in February it will be 9 years."

Lucas says that one act of violence changed their lives forever.

"You know every holiday that comes along people says it gets easier. You learn to deal with it in your own way but you always miss them 'cause there's always that gap there."

In 2012 nearly 8 thousand Mississippians were victims of violent crimes, more than 200 of which were homicides. State Attorney General Jim Hood says that's why it’s important to for his office to sponsor events like this.

"It's very difficult for someone who's lost a loved one to crime  to address some of the issues they have to deal with emotionally because of the Christmas season. But the great thing about it is that victims get more out of helping others and when they come together they find others that need help and that giving is much more important than taking."

The ceremony is part of the Crime Prevention Division of the Attorney General’s office. Their goal is to provide financial assistance, advocacy and support to victims of crime and their family. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.



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