PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2005
Contact: Attorney General’s Office: Lori Sitler/Janice Fitzsimons - (302) 577-8314
Department of Correction: Beth Welch – (302) 739-5601
Delaware State Police: Lt. Joseph Aviola – (302) 834-2620 ext. 6
State Employees Assist in Hurricane Relief Effort
Six State Employees are Part of NOVA Crisis Response Team
(Wilmington, DE): Next week, the workday will be a bit out of the ordinary for six State of Delaware employees. Instead of meeting with probationers, providing services to crime victims or working on domestic violence policy issues, these employees will be providing services to victims of the Katrina hurricane in Ocean Springs, Mississippi as part of a National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) Crisis Response Team.
The team - Debbie Reed, Director of the Delaware State Police Victim Center; Mariann Kenville-Moore, Director of Victim Services for the Delaware Attorney General and a victim service social worker from her staff, Jennifer Butler; Probation Officer Maureen Faulkner; the Victim Services Coordinator for New Castle County Probation and Parole, Renee Buskirk; and Maureen Querey, a planner with the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council – has all undergone NOVA’s extensive Crisis Response Team training and will be providing crisis intervention and support services to citizens displaced by the Katrina hurricane through one of the Disaster Relief Centers operated by FEMA. FEMA requested the assistance of NOVA to provide crisis intervention to those persons displaced by the Katrina hurricane.
Debbie Reed, who is leading the Delaware Crisis Response Team, said that, “doing this type of work is very rewarding. There is great satisfaction in helping others who are in need. We have tremendous support from the State of Delaware and I cannot say enough about the tireless efforts of NOVA in coordinating response teams from across the country.”
Reed’s boss, Colonel Thomas F. MacLeish, commented, “We are extremely honored to have such dedicated employees who are willing to leave their families in order to serve those with a greater need.”
Cheryl Guidry Tyiska, Deputy Director of NOVA, said, “Crisis response volunteers from many of our state and local teams are doing all we can to help victims, survivors and disaster relief workers to understand and cope with the emotional and psychological pain by offering crisis intervention and emotional support during this difficult time. We are pleased that a Delaware Crisis Response Team will be joining our efforts.”
Members of this current Crisis Response Team are part of a larger group of crisis responders known as the First State Team. The First State Team has previously responded to disaster sites after the September 11th bombings and the 2004 Florida hurricanes.
Attorney General Jane Brady said, “Every day Department of Justice employees serve the needs of crime victims. We are particularly proud of Mariann and Jennifer who will be using their victim services skills to provide assistance to citizens in crisis in the hurricane region.”
The Attorney General’s sentiments were echoed by Ron Keen, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. "The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council is very proud of Maureen Querey and her willingness to sacrifice her time to benefit the victims of the hurricane. It is not often that we have an opportunity to contribute to this type effort and we value the opportunity to be included."
Of his Probation/Parole unit staff, Correction’s Commissioner Stanley Taylor said, “The people affected by Hurricane Katrina have suffered a great deal and it is wonderful to have a group from Delaware traveling to Mississippi to assist with relief efforts. I'm proud to have a DOC employee among the group and I know each member of the team will find it a very rewarding experience.
A Crisis Response Team consists of service professionals, typically including mental health specialists, victim advocates, public safety professionals, and members of the clergy, among others. All team members are volunteers with only their travel and lodging expenses covered by the local community or from donations to NOVA.