Memorial Wall Remembers Crime Victims

Published 04/07 2014 04:02PM

Updated 04/07 2014 05:14PM

The Crime Victims Assistance Center's annual memorial wall is up at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City. The wall includes pictures and information about homicide victims from around Greater Binghamton.

This morning, public officials and police officers gathered with some family members and friends of the victims to remember their lives. Seven people had to be added to the wall this year, bringing the total up to 140.

The most recent addition was Johnson City police officer David Smith who was shot and killed in the line of duty last Monday.

The wall has special meaning for Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie.

"This has a personal meaning to me. Along with D.W. Smith behind me, on July 20, 2002 my life changed when Valerie and Devin Spears were murdered in Binghamton. I worked with Valerie, saw Devin grow up and she became a great actress. This really means a lot to myself and the community," said Deemie.

This week is national Crime Victims Rights Week. The Crime Victims Assistance Center provides counseling at its office, a 24 hour crisis hotline and has staff that works in various community settings.

"For us, the people that are doing this work, it's a reminder of why we continue to do the work, that the services are very much needed. It is hard work. It can be emotionally taxing, but we realize the importance of it. And I think for other people, someone here today just said to me that he was was glad that he got a chance to look at it because there were people on there he had forgotten about," said executive director Raini Baudendistel.

On Thursday evening at 6 p.m., there will be a survivor's tribute at lower Ostiningo Park.

There will also be a Victims Rights Breakfast at the Binghamton DoubleTree on Friday morning at 8 a.m. Cost is $20 and reservations can be made online at

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