Group starts information resource for violent crime victims

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake City Police Department now has a new information resource for victims of violent crime.

"No one plans on being victimized. It's not something you're preparing for as you go through your life experiences," said Vicki Walker with the nonprofit group Circle the Wagons.

Vickie Walker's husband, Jeff, was killed in the 2007 Trolley Square shootings and her son, A.J., was injured.

Thursday, through Circle The Wagons, the Walkers started a program called Cans of Comfort.

While the quart-sized cans hold candy, their real purpose is to convey practical information to victims of violent crime.

Each Can of Comfort includes contact numbers, follow-up information tailored to the needs of victims, guidance for both the survivor and supporting family members, and a personal letter from Vickie and A.J. that offers encouragement and hope.

Patrol officers, as well as detectives in Domestic Violence, Special Victims, Homicide and other investigative units will carry Cans of Comfort in their police vehicles to distribute as needed.

"Developed by someone who knows firsthand what it's like to go through such a tragedy, these cans provide invaluable information to help victims of crime recover," said Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank.

"Information -- how to access it, where to find it -- that was something we felt was hard to navigate in the aftermath of Trolley Square," said Vickie Walker. "I hope this small gesture will help others move forward, rise above the tragedy and find joy in life."

About the Walkers, Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said, "They more than anyone have the right to be bitter and angry at what society has dealt them, but they've decided to help society and in turn help the P.D. be more effective and efficient."

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