Many people…especially in California where gang-related crimes are an everyday occurrence…witness criminal activity but do not report what they saw to the police. While some simply “don’t want to get involved”, many are truly afraid of retaliation. Some simply anticipate retaliation, while others receive direct threats from people involved in the crime. If you have the courage to testify about what you saw, know that the state can help you via the California Witness Protection Program.
Similar to the more well-known federal witness protection program, the California Witness Protection Program offers victims and witnesses of crimes services to (1) help keep them safe, housed and fed while they cooperate with law enforcement, (2) ensure that they receive any necessary medical/psychological counseling and (3) secure financial restitution to compensate for any financial losses due to the crime.
If you are the victim of witness of a crime…and would like to report what you know…contact your local prosecuting agency to find out how they can help protect you.