Mayor James B. Ratliff

Victim's Assistance - Crisis Counselors Program

The Victim Assistance - Crisis Counselors program was initiated in October, 1993, as part of a general community policing effort developed within the agency. The Victim Assistance Program (VAP) is attached to the Criminal Investigation Division, Personal Violence Unit of the police department. The unit is supervised by a sworn police lieutenant and staffed by three training civilian personnel. The VAP focuses on addressing the needs of violent crime victims, complainants, witnesses and their families. More specifically, the VAP's duties include but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Respond to calls for service involving assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, or family violence so as to provide assistance to victims;
  • Foster a relationship between the police and the victim while at the scene in order to expedite any possible investigation;
  • Provide short term counseling, arrange for emergency shelter, and provide information on protective orders and family violence;
  • Assess the needs of victims and refer the individual and/or family to the appropriate agency;
  • Provide follow-up case management via home visits, telephone contacts and letters;
  • Provide advocacy and liaison services between crime victims and the District Attorney's Office, Department of Human Resources and various other local, state and federal agencies;
  • Assist families of fatality victims and suicide victims;
  • Maintain statistical data on offenses responded to, referrals made, repeat offenders, etc.;
  • Conduct family awareness seminars; and
  • Assist and provide counseling services to agency personnel and their families in crisis.

The VAP accomplishes its mission by directly interfacing with various divisions within the police agency and with other local, state and federal law enforcement entities and social programs.

The VAP has an approximate annual budget of $150,834 in local and federal funding, which supports the work of three civilian employees supervised by one sworn police lieutenant.

CONTACT: Cmdr. Brian H. McDuffie, Criminal Investigation Division, City of Garland, P.O. Box 469002, Garland, TX 75046-9002, Telephone - (214) 205-2000.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

Copyright 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.