When the loss of a loved one is the result of a criminal act, the tragedy can become overwhelming and unbearable. Law Enforcement Victim Advocates are trained professionals that support grieving families. They provide a light to help grieving families find a way out of one of the darkest days in their lives. Advocates also assist families understand the complexities of the crime scene and investigative processes. They provide comprehensive victim services to victims or secondary victims of crimes/traumatic loss such as homicide, aggravated battery, domestic violence, robbery, suicide, drowning, natural death, accidental death, infant death, industrial accidents, and serious trauma or crisis.
In 2021, the Victim Advocate Squad responded to 181 crime scenes to include but not limited to: 63 natural deaths, 39 suicides, 19 homicides, 19 overdoses, and reviewed 7,614 reports to identify additional victims of crime. Victim advocates have a responsibility to provide victim rights information and available resources to all victims, next of kin and witnesses. They also provide the below assistance:
- Brief crisis counseling.
- Referrals to emergency shelter, food and clothing pantries, medical providers, social service agencies, etc.
- Coordination of transportation to court appearances or social service agencies.
- Court accompaniment for victims during trial.
- Assistance completing application for Victim Compensation.
- Accompany families to make funeral arrangements when requested.
- Provide a resource booklet to victims/next of kin for counselors, support groups, biohazardous cleaning companies, and funeral homes.
- Conduct death notifications to families, employers and schools.
- Tourist advocacy.
- Lost/Stolen Passport.
- Tourist Related Crimes.