Head of Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan announces focus for 2015

Victor Fitz, Cass County prosecutor and president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM), announced his focus for 2015. Fitz intends to emphasize unsolved cold case homicides, drug trends, and develop best practices for criminal justice issues. After his election as president by the PAAM Board of Directors in August, Fitz immediately formed three new committees made up of prosecuting attorneys from around the state to emphasize these areas of importance.

Fitz announced that a central goal for 2015 and beyond is for prosecutors to work with law enforcement on the significant number of unsolved cold case homicides in Michigan. Since 1980, FBI statistics estimate that Michigan has more than 10,000 unsolved cold case homicides.

"This is a haunting number," stated Fitz. "Over 10,000 families remain without closure. Their loved ones have suffered a violent or unnatural death. They deserve resolution. They deserve justice," Fitz said.

Fitz's drug initiative recognizes the disturbing effects that methamphetamine, prescription drugs, heroin and other narcotics are increasingly having on the Great Lakes Region-particularly the youth. "We will seek to increase communication and cooperation with in-state and out-state agencies to intensify effectiveness in combating illegal drug manufacturers in the Great Lakes Region," advised Fitz.

2015 efforts are expected to include a law enforcement training on many of these drug related topics.

Under the direction of then-President Kym Worthy in 2014, PAAM initiated efforts to tackle the untested sexual assault kit backlog in Michigan. Fitz stated that these important themes will receive continued priority.

"It is extremely important for prosecutors to be as effective as possible when seeking justice for the citizens of our state. Following best practices and continuing our diligence on backlog challenges are essential to such efforts."

Fitz noted that many legislative and criminal justice initiatives are considered by the PAAM membership on an annual basis.

"As always, PAAM looks forward to working with the various state and local branches of government, as well as citizens and the private sector in 2015. We share the common goal of making Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family," said Fitz.

Fitz has been the prosecutor in Cass County since 2003 and will continue as PAAM president through August 2015. He previously served in the Muskegon, Tuscola and St. Clair County Prosecutors' Office. Fitz is also an appointed member of the Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission, a division within the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan was established in 1928. It is governed by a board of directors consisting of: five officers, 14 elected directors, active past presidents and the attorney general. The primary purposes of the association are to promote equal justice in enforcing the state's criminal laws, and continuing the education of prosecuting attorneys and other law enforcement officials.

Published: Mon, Jan 05, 2015

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