Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $975,000)
The Houston Police Department (HPD) will implement the Advocates for Violent Crime Victims project. The proposed project will address the critical need to provide victim advocates to reach out to the large number of crime victims in Houston to help this population begin to put their lives back in order and recover from their victimization.
The project's overarching goal is to enhance the department's existing victim advocacy program that connects survivors and families to coordinated, trauma-informed services. Its objectives are to provide advocacy for at least 3,000 victims of violent crimes during the initial program year, and to pilot a new homicide survivor outreach initiative utilizing two retired officers to provide advocacy services for up to 200 survivors. The project will provide funding for a retired officer pilot program that will engage retired homicide officers to work with the survivors of homicide, relieving other victim advocates of specific vicarious trauma that these cases present. It will support the continued funding of a software package used to track victims served and referrals made. It will support the purchase of a limited number of marked patrol vehicles that are used by a team of an officer and civilian advocate when responding to certain calls for service plus additional accessory packages for additional patrol vehicles. Finally, it will support the purchase of desktop computers and monitors, portable computer or tablet devices, as well as the purchase of web cameras.