GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The selfless commitment one woman shows to the youth of Georgetown County earned her a Recognition of Law Enforcement Officers Citation from the South Strand Optimist Club.
Caitlin Elliot is a victim advocate and was nominated for the honor by Sheriff Lane Cribb.
"Law Enforcement Victim Advocates are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and many times are faced with crisis calls involving children who are victims of exposure to domestic violence, neglect, child abuse and even sexual abuse," said Cribb.
Elliot's duties include creating a calm and safe environment for children at crime scenes. Groups like the Optimists often donate the resources she utilizes.
"The sheriff's office is grateful to community programs, churches and clubs much like the Optimist Club for the continuous donations of items such as cozy blankets, stuffed animals, children's books and toys," Sheriff Cribb said. "Because of those donations, Mrs. Elliott is able to create smiles on children's faces when they are in scary situations."
Elliot shared donations with students when she visited schools in the district before summer break. She also reads books in classrooms to promote literacy and shares body awareness tips to keep kids safe. The mom of three boys works a full-time, on-call job.
"Although the most difficult part of her role as an advocate may be being pulled away from her own family to respond to a call, Mrs. Elliott offers selfless service. She demonstrates great leadership and integrity and as one of those peers whom Caitlin has inspired and motivated to service," Cribb said.
The other honorees were:
- Sergeant Robert Butler of the Horry County Sheriff’s Department/J. Reuben Long Detention Center
- Investigator Johnny Fairfield of the Pawleys Island Police Department
- Patrolman First Class Wilson “Willie” James of the Surfside Police Department
- Officer Teresa Walker of the City of Georgetown Police Department
- Sergeant Justin Wyatt or the Horry County Police Department South Precinct
"Responding to these types of crisis calls are never easy and are very difficult to face especially when there is a child involved. As an advocate, Mrs. Elliott is always there to afford emotional support for the child and the family that is affected and reaches out to community resources that will also provide an important service in building up and empowering the child throughout their recovery," Cribb said. "Trauma is never an easy experience to overcome. However, having someone like Mrs. Elliott there to receive you with a warm smile and comforting gesture really makes a difference to a child."