Thursday, May 22, 2014
Georgetown County Sheriff’s Victim Advocate Alma Sierra is the recipient of the state “Outstanding Service to Underserved Victims” award.
On May 13, Sierra was presented the award at the 27th Annual Victims’ Rights Week Conference in Columbia.
This award is given to a direct service provider who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to assist formerly underserved crime victims.
Sierra, one of five nominees for this category in the state, was nominated by Linda Collins of the Family Justice Center.
Law enforcement victim advocates are first responders and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide services to victims when a crime such as domestic violence or sexual assault occurs.
A victim advocate also provides moral and emotional support, as well as informing and updating the victim throughout the criminal justice process.
Sierra joined the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office in June 2010 as the first Hispanic, bilingual victim advocate.
She strives to bridge the gap in the language barrier by advocating for non-English speakers within the Hispanic community.
Sierra became a S.C. qualified interpreter/translator so that she may provide assistance to deputies and investigators during their interviewing process when language is a barrier.
She also provides assistance for Georgetown County residents by interpreting at local hospitals, doctors’ offices, and local resource organizations.
Sheriff Lane Cribb said, “Alma is such a pleasure to work with and never says no when she can be of assistance. The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office is very fortunate to have Alma as an employee and can think of no other individual that deserves this recognition more than the candidate that has been chosen by your committee.”