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They filled the hallway at the Justice Center to recognize former District Attorney Stuart VanMeveren and name a victim’s waiting room in honor of his 32 years of public service to the residents of Larimer County and Colorado.

The longest-serving District Attorney in both Larimer County and the State of Colorado, VanMeveren was a pioneer of innovation and reform in criminal justice issues in Colorado and Larimer County.

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers, Larimer County Treasurer Irene Josey, former Larimer County Treasurer Myrna Rodenberger, and many former district attorneys and judges were among those in the crowd at the ceremony.

The Larimer County Commissioners were also present with Commissioner Tom Donnelly giving opening remarks at the ceremony stating, “The District Attorney does some of the most difficult work in the county.”

“It’s been a privilege to serve 32 years as DA,” said VanMeveren. “I think I could tell a story about everybody in this room.”

During his time as D.A.,  he created the first Victim and Witness Program through his office to provide counseling and support to victims as well as a safe place for them.

 “Stu was instrumental in the passage of the 1992 Colorado Amendment to our Constitution instituting a crime victims amendment. Stu was down there testifying, shepherding that through the legislature and then to the voters,” said District Attorney Cliff Riedel. “It is truly fitting and appropriate to name our Victim Witness Waiting Room the Stuart A. VanMeveren room. Because of Stu’s passion, his vision, his legacy, the future is bright.”

With a laugh, VanMeveren said did not know whether he should be proud or embarrassed, but also said creating a Victim and Witness Program was dear to his heart.

The program began with only one position but has now grown to 13 full-time employees and volunteers, with over 40,000 contacts with victims.

As he spoke to the crowd, Van Meveren recalled looking for a victim in a trial to testify and found that person sitting alone in an unfamiliar environment. He thought that was somewhat embarrassing and wanted to find a way to accommodate victims.

His wife Kathy, was with him as he was shown the room featuring a framed photo of him and a certificate where victims can find comfort while participating in the criminal justice system.

VanMeveren was also the only D.A. in Colorado to serve as President of the National Association of District Attorneys. 

“I can’t believe everyone is here. I am deeply honored by all your support.  A lot of you shaped my career, it’s so neat to see the many of you here. I’m honored, and I was privileged to serve as the DA for 32 years," said VanMeveren. "I owe a lot of that experience and success to most everyone in this room.”

Stu VanMeveren Room Dedication
Published on: 
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 2:49pm

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