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Funding will help protect crime victims, witnesses from danger

State grant is flowing to office of commonwealth's attorney in Fairfax

Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced July 2 that Virginia’s Victim Witness Grant Program had awarded his office $25,000, which will be used to provide security and support services for victims and witnesses in criminal trials.

This funding is part of a new $1 million grant program distributed by Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services.

After the General Assembly authorized a witness-protection program in 1994, law-enforcement officials throughout the state waited 30 years for funding to be provided to support the program’s required services.

With funding finally available for local law-enforcement agencies, Fairfax County will be able to provide support services and security for both victims and witnesses. These services are necessary, as victims and witnesses can face intimidation or logistical barriers to testifying in court.

“This isn’t a small step forward for community safety – it’s a giant leap,” Descano said.