VALE Benefits Victims and the Lamar Community


VALE, Victims Assistance Law Enforcement, recently donated $10,000 to purchase a third K9 for the Lamar Police Department.  Joe Giadone, board chairman, addressed the Lamar City Council for authorization to donate the funds on June 9.

According to Giadone, the VALE board was created in 1978 and was comprised of himself, Warren Reece and Jack Wolfe.  The board has increased membership by two more members since that time, and Giadone has served as chairman since VALE’s founding.  “We work in conjunction with the Lamar Police Department under a city ordinance,” he explained, “If a person is fined by the court, the VALE board receives 25% of the fine which we can apply to help a victim of a crime.”  Giadone said the monetary award is not automatic and has some stipulations attached.

He explained that if a person’s home or car, for instance, has been vandalized and they report it to the police, if their formal request is approved by the board, they can receive up to $250 to cover repair costs.  The process is mostly paperwork and a victim does not need to make a personal appearance before the board.  “The department will send an application form to a victim who fills it out and resubmits it to the police and then it comes to our attention for review,” Giadone stated.  He also said that board members do not have a set meeting schedule, but will only convene once they have several cases up for consideration.

There is a strict accounting on how the funds are used, Giadone stated, as a person will need to submit some cost estimates for their project and the board will take the lowest estimate under $250 and sometimes will just pay the contractor or business directly.  He gave an example, stating, “If your car is broken into and the window is damaged and your stereo is stolen, we cover the cost of the window, but not the stereo.”  Giadone also explained the VALE board covers just the City of Lamar and not outlying areas, although other communities in the state and nation can have their own similar service.  Giadone said there is a state VALE board which is administered by the state district attorney’s office.  He said their accrued funds were large enough that the city treasurer indicated they could make the donation to the police department for the third K9 while continuing to assist local victims.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityFeaturedHistoryLamarLaw EnforcementPublic Safety


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