Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $770,861)
The purpose of this award, funded under the OVC FY 2019 Law Enforcement-Based Victim Specialist Program, is to develop or enhance and sustain crime victim specialist programs within law enforcement agencies and better coordinate services to victims to more quickly and more effectively serve the victim assistance and compensation needs of all crime victims and inform them of their rights as crime victims.
The Memphis Police Department (MPD), in partnership with the Shelby County Crime Victims and Rape Crisis Center (CVRCC), and the University of Memphiss Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, will strengthen the network between law enforcement, victims, and social services by creating a victim specialist team designed to connect primary and secondary victims of serious violent crime to the resources they need to begin the healing process. First, MPD will create a victim specialist team trained in victim services and able to connect victims with the appropriate agencies throughout the investigation process. This team will primarily work with the CVRCC, one of the main sources of assistance for victims of crime, and with other service providers to connect individuals to relevant services. Initially, the victim specialist team will focus on homicide cases and secondary victims, including witnesses, family members, and other loved ones affected by homicide. Over time, the team will expand their focus to include cases of other serious violent crime.