The IACP Victim Services Committee and LogIn, Inc. honor law enforcement agencies that have demonstrated exemplary efforts in providing innovative service to victims of crime. The Excellence in Victim Services Award recognizes agencies, based on size, that utilize best practices such as effective partnerships, training methods, and performance monitoring tools which place victims at the center of their problem-solving efforts.
This year’s winners were recognized today at the 2014 Excellence in Victim Services Award Luncheon, held at Maggiano’s Little Italy – Pointe Orlando in Orlando, Florida.
The winner of the larger agency category was Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado. The Colorado Springs Police Department Victim Advocacy Unit provides a continuum of law enforcement based victim services, including immediate crisis intervention; on-going support throughout the investigative and criminal justice process; and assistance in obtaining community resources. Advocates arrange emergency safe housing through safe houses or temporary hotel stays; secure funding for emergency relocation of a victim and family, if needed; assist with obtaining protection orders against the offender; and help crime victims apply for victim compensation funds to assist with the cost of crime-related expenses. The overall goal of the CSPD Victim Advocacy Unit is to empower crime victims by providing guidance and support during the aftermath of the crime. Advocates use their knowledge, experience, and passion to be a voice for the victims they serve in the hopes of minimizing the impact of the crime and to assist in restoring their quality of life.
The medium agency winner was Glendale Police Department, Arizona. In April 2014, the Glendale Victim Assistance Unit (VAU) partnered with the Glendale Fire Department Crisis Response Team (CR) with a vision of expanding immediate, specialized crisis intervention services to crime victims in our city. This collaboration incorporates victim services throughout both the police and fire department agencies. The “front end crisis intervention” services provided by the Fire CR personnel focus on meeting the immediate crisis and trauma needs experienced immediately after victimization. The “back end case management, assessment, and follow up” services, provided by the police VA personnel, focus on criminal justice advocacy, crime victim rights education, development of a follow up care plan, and connections to counseling and healing services. This collaboration partners to make available immediate 24/7 crisis intervention/stabilization, with next day specialized follow up by a police victim assistance caseworker. By the sharing of specialized training resources; best practices in victim services; and joint personnel, all crime victim needs can be addressed immediately, holistically, and in an ongoing coordinated effort.
Richland Hills Police Department, Texas, was the small agency winner. In 2009 the Richland Hills Police Department entered into a regionalized crime victim liaison project with one crime victim liaison servicing the cities of Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, and Watauga with Haltom City added in 2013. The program covers an extremely diverse population. A Victims Service Specialist working as a team with police officers provides a myriad of services including emergency housing for domestic violence victims, counseling, child care and briefings with officers. Since establishing the program over 800 persons received some form of victim services and over 50 outreach programs have been conducted within the four jurisdictions.
Honorary mentions included Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin, with their Domestic Violence Initiative; City of White Plains Department of Public Safety, New York, with Project Trust; and El Mirage Police Department, Arizona, with their Victim Assistance Initiative.
View the winning applications in IACP Net’s Main e-Library: