WRCB is joining the Chattanooga Police Department to collect donations for the Witness Support Fund for the second time since its creation.

Police created the fund two years ago in hopes the promise of protection would help witnesses and victims of violence cooperate with police and testify against suspects charged with violent crimes.

The fund was created after Bianca Horton’s death. Horton was murdered in 2016 and police believe she might have been killed because she was willing to testify against Cortez Sims. Her testimony helped convict Sims of murder last month. He was sentenced to life in prison in the shooting that injured Horton’s daughter.

Police and victim advocates say it’s important to be able to respond to a victim’s concern. Similar to a witness protection program, the fund provides various services including accommodations out of town. 

"Even a small donation allows us to give someone a gift card to eat or gas money to get out of town for a few days,” Mayor Andy Berke told Channel 3 in 2016. “It shows them the community is supporting them." 

The Witness Support Fund relies on community donations to help keep victims of violence safe.

Tune in on Thursday as Channel 3 shares stories of how your donations are helping victims of violence and why they are so important.

A panel of officers and public officials will take your calls at 423-266-5483, during Eyewitness News Today from 5:00-7: 00 am, during Eyewitness News at Noon, and again during Live at 5:00 pm and Eyewitness News at 6:00 pm.  WRCB will also provide a way to donate online.

In 2016, Chattanooga showed its generous spirit by donating $5,843 for Chattanooga's Witness Support Fund. Join us Thursday as we work to surpass that amount.