ALBANY, Ga. -- In a time to remember, law enforcement personnel joined with community aid organization staff and relatives of crime victims at Greater 2nd Mount Olive Baptist Church in East Albany for a Thursday-evening vigil.
The vigil is part of a weeklong National Crime Victims' Rights Week attempt to extend the vision and reach of every victim.
"We wanted to have it available to the community in which crime happens," said organizer Tonya Hall. "Crime doesn't happen at the amphitheater, it happens in our neighborhoods. Just a couple of years ago, there was a homicide a couple of miles near here."
In memory of those who were killed in criminal acts, the names of many victims were read before those who attended observed a moment of silence.
For law enforcement officials, there exists a bond with the families of victims, Dougherty County Assistant District Attorney Kathy Fallin said.
"I'm always at the vigils to honor the victims. The families know us from court," Fallin said. "They get to know us as people, too. They are very important to us."
Sitting next to her granddaughter Camyria Renee Arnold's Dora the Explorer doll, Debra Norris said she attended the vigil to honor the child, who remains a part of her.
"On Dec. 27, 2010, her stepfather beat her to death," Norris said. "She was 3 years old. She is 4 now."
Two police officers who lost their lives protecting and serving the community were not forgotten. Albany Police Department Deputy Chief Mark Scott placed a carnation in a wreath to honor officer Terry Lewis-Flemming. She perished in a patrol-car crash while chasing alleged armed robbers in October 2011.
Dougherty County Police Department Assistant Chief Jackie Battle placed a carnation for Lt. Thomas Clifford "Cliff" Rouse, who was fatally shot responding to a robbery at a convenience store in December 2010.
While Battle and Scott said they placed the carnations for their colleagues, they added, "And for all other victims of crime."