The Cortez Police Department is committed to preserving and protecting crime victims and witnesses. The Department recognizes that many individuals suffer economic loss, injury, or death due to criminal acts.
Realizing that victims and witnesses need to be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity and be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse, Victim Service members respond to incidents when needed. The members assist officers by providing resource information, transportation assistance, and support. Members may respond to crisis situations, crime scenes, homes, or hospitals.
After the crisis, contact with victims by telephone, mail, or in person will be made to ensure they have appropriate information on reaching the relevant agencies, self-support groups, and other community organizations for support. To contact Victim Services, call the Victim Response Coordinator at (970) 564-4028 or by e-mail.
The Constitution of the State of Colorado and the laws of this state guarantee certain rights to victims of the crimes listed below.
The following will explain your rights as a crime victim and help you understand what will happen next. If the victim is deceased or incapacitated, these rights are guaranteed to the victim’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, significant other, or other lawful representatives.
Rights of Crime Victims
For a complete listing of your rights, please refer to Colorado Revised Statutes 24-4.1-301 through 24-4.1-304 or go online):
Additional rights and services are provided to child victims of crime. Law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges are encouraged to designate one or more individuals to ensure that the child and their family understand the legal proceedings and have support and assistance to deal with the emotional impact of the crime and the subsequent criminal proceedings. For a complete listing of your rights, please refer to Colorado Revised Statutes, 24-4.1-101 through 24-4.1-304
Criminal justice agencies have specific responsibilities for assuring that victims receive their rights. These responsibilities are as follows:
Law enforcement agencies should provide victims of crime with written information about:
- The rights enumerated in the Victim Rights Act;
- The availability of financial resources such as victim compensation benefits and how to apply for those benefits;
- The availability of protective court orders to obtain protection from the person accused of committing the crime; and
- The availability of a free copy of the initial incident report. Law enforcement maintains discretion to determine when the initial incident report can be released to the victim.
In addition, law enforcement agencies are required to:
- Provide information about community services such as crisis intervention services, victim assistance resources,
- legal resources, mental health services, financial services, applicable protection services, and other support services;
- Provide information about interpretation services, and assistance in dealing with creditors due to financial
- setbacks caused by the crime and childcare to enable a crime victim to cooperate with the prosecution;
- Provide the victim of crime with the business address and telephone number of the district attorney’s office, the file number of the case, and the name, business address, and telephone number of any law enforcement officer assigned to investigate the matter;
- Keep the victim of crime informed as to whether a suspect has been taken into custody and, if known, whether the suspect has been released from custody and any bond conditions imposed upon the suspect;
- Update the victim on the status of the case before the filing of charges;
- Upon the request of the victim, return the victim’s property within five working days when it is no longer needed for evidentiary reasons;
- Inform the victim of the existence of the criminal protection order and, upon the request of the victim, the procedure for modifying the protection order if a process exists;
- Inform victims of crime about decisions not to file charges in misdemeanor cases;
- Inform all victims of cold cases of any change in the status of the case; and
- Upon written request, provide victims of cold cases for which the crime has a statute of limitations of longer than three years with an annual update concerning the status of the case.
Victims of crime have the following responsibilities:
- Keep appropriate criminal justice authorities informed of their or their representative’s current name, address, email address, and telephone number, and any changes in this information;
- Provide a written request to the appropriate agency if they want to be notified of information regarding the post-sentencing process. Request forms for enrollment information can be obtained from the District Attorney’s Office, the Probation Department, the Department of Corrections, the Division of Youth Corrections, or the local jail;
- For victims of cold cases for which the crime has a statute of limitations of longer than three (3) years, request in writing an annual update on the status of the case;
- To request notification of the release of a person accused or convicted of a crime from the county jail;
- To request notification by the court of a defendant’s petition to stop sex offender registration;
- To request that correctional officials keep their address, telephone, place of employment, and other personal information confidential.
The Process for Ensuring Your Victim Rights
Colorado state law provides that victims of crime may enforce compliance with the provisions of the Constitutional Amendment by contacting the Crime Victim Services Advisory Board (Board).
What to do if you feel your rights have not been provided to you:
If possible, first attempt to seek compliance at the local level, including but not limited to:
- Contacting the person whom you feel has not provided you with your rights and explaining specifically what has not been done;
- Seeking assistance from your victim advocate or other supportive persons such as a counselor; and
- Seeking help from the elected official or the head of the agency you feel is not providing you with your rights.
Contacts may be verbal or in writing. Accurate records of your efforts to seek compliance at the local level will be helpful to you and the Crime Victim Services Advisory Board (Board) should you decide to file a formal request for compliance with the Victim Rights Act.
If you feel you are unable to address your concerns at the local level or your efforts to resolve your problems have been unsuccessful, you may request assistance from the Crime Victim Services Advisory Board (Board) by contacting the Victim Rights Act Specialist at:
Colorado Department of Public Safety
Division of Criminal Justice
700 Kipling Street, Suite 1000
Denver, CO 80215-5865
1-888-282-1080 Toll-Free (outside the Denver Metro area)
If you have questions concerning the prosecution of your case, contact the District Attorney’s Office:
District Attorney’s Office
109 W. Main Street
Cortez, CO 81321
- Renew Inc. (970) 565-4886
- Wings Safehouse (970) 565-9116
- Four Corners Child Advocacy Center (970) 565-8155
- Victim/Witness 22nd Judicial District (970) 565-1147
- Southwest Memorial Hospital (970) 565-6666
If you have questions or need more information, please call your local law enforcement agency:
- Cortez Police Department (970)565-8441
- Montezuma Sheriff’s Office (970) 565-8452
- Montezuma County Jail (970) 565-8452
- Dolores County Sheriff’s Office (970) 677-2257
- Mancos Marshal’s Office (970) 533-1482
- Colorado State Patrol (970) 249-4392