Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $824,137)
The purpose of this award, funded under the OVC FY 2019 Law Enforcement-Based Victim Specialist Program, is to develop or enhance crime victim specialist programs within law enforcement agencies to better support victims through the criminal justice process including connecting them with community-based direct victim services programs to more quickly and more effectively serve them.
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) will develop a program of support to address the specific needs of violent crime victims in two of Chicagos twenty-two districts and implement a project that can be replicated throughout the City and extended to other kinds of crime victims. The overarching project goal is to help victims recover physically, emotionally and financially to the extent possible, improve community trust in the police and support for criminal investigations, improve violent crime clearance rates and overall community safety; and identify and address victim services and access gaps and strengthen Chicagos network of victim services. CPD will fill three (3) Crime Victims Advocate positions to work in districts experiencing high rates of shooting violence that serve multiple Opportunity Zones. The program will model aspects of CPDs successful program of support for domestic violence victims, and CPDs innovative partnership with the not-for-profit Chicago Survivors in supporting families of homicide victims. Responding Officers will provide victims with information about their rights and accessing services; and the Advocate will perform a triage to determine a course of action that may include: developing a safety plan; accessing available programs and services; and providing support during the course of criminal investigations and/or court proceedings.