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Support agencies offer program tips, economic advice

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Representatives from several local support agencies gathered at the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center on Wednesday morning for a working breakfast.

The annual Agency Support Group Breakfast, hosted by the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office Victim Witness Program, is an opportunity for agencies to "gather and learn about changes in leadership and program activities that can be utilized by Gwinnett citizens," said victim advocate Candice Pitman.

Addressing the state of the economy, Demetrius Jordan of the United Way encouraged organizations to continue striving to provide the best possible service to those in need, despite challenges faced by all.

Attending agencies included Georgia's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, AID Gwinnett and the Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center & Children's Advocacy Center.

District Attorney Danny Porter also presented the Victim Witness Program's director, Stan Hall, with the 2009 Victims' Voice Award for his work in developing the program and forging relationships with the community and its leaders.

Hall's "get-it-done attitude," Porter said, has made the program one emulated by others.

Hall has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience and has been with the District Attorney's Office since 1987. He has been part of the Victim Witness Program since its inception.

Hall said he is honored, on behalf of crime victims, to have received the award. But without the support of his staff and the District Attorney's Office, he said, "engaging crime victims in the judicial system would not be possible."

"As much as I appreciate the recognition, I would be remiss if I did not give credit to the entire Victim Witness Program staff and the very person who presented me with this award, Danny Porter."