In 1996, Sheriff Kern recognized a need for volunteers to assist his deputies at the scene of a crime or serious accident. The Tuscola County Victim-Witness program was formed and volunteers were trained and the program sanctioned by the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. The program currently has a full-time coordinator and 14 volunteer Victim Advocates meeting the needs of the citizens of Tuscola County who become victims of crime. The volunteers also assist victims of disasters, accidents and the survivors of suicide victims. The Advocates are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to the scene, hospital or police department. They provide crisis intervention, referrals, transportation and accompaniment to the hospital, court or domestic violence shelters. Advocates also assist in making death notifications. The Advocate acts as a liaison between citizens and law enforcement, the judicial system and social support services.