Law enforcement personnel are uniquely positioned to meet a victim’s needs immediately, provide trauma-informed referrals and services, and facilitate the victim’s participation in the criminal justice system.
Learn about OVC support for programs that help law enforcement personnel understand and effectively meet the needs of crime victims.
Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking Program
This program is jointly administered by OVC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Law enforcement and victim service applicants both apply for funding to support the development or enhancement of multidisciplinary human trafficking task forces that work to identify victims of sex and labor trafficking and ensure that they have access to a comprehensive array of services.
View the following resources to help guide multidisciplinary human trafficking task forces.
View the Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide, developed by OVC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance which provides—
- guidance on how to form and develop new human trafficking task forces;
- ideas to strengthen existing human trafficking task forces;
- creative strategies, examples, and lessons learned from existing task forces; and
- links to tools, trainings, and resources, including case studies.
OVC, Bureau of Justice Assistance, and International Association of Chiefs of Police published the Development and Operations Roadmap for Multidisciplinary Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces.
This roadmap provides both new and experienced anti-human trafficking task forces with guidance to assess and plan task force development from start to sustainability. The roadmap covers—
- internal foundations, operation, and collaboration;
- case operations;
- data, reporting, and assessment; and
- public and community engagement, awareness, and training.
Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims
The Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims strategy introduces law enforcement leaders to the benefits, challenges, methods, and responsibilities for enhancing their response to victims of crime. The goal of Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims program is to—
- create community-wide trust and confidence in the police,
- foster the healing process for victims, and
- produce stronger, more comprehensive cases for law enforcement.
OVC provides funding to the International Association of Chiefs of Police to support the Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims strategy.
Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence Demonstration Initiative
The Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence Demonstration Initiative seeks to build law enforcement's capacity to raise awareness about the existence and impact of gender bias in order to enhance services to sexual assault and domestic violence victims. OVC funds the International Association of Chiefs of Police to provide support, guidance, and technical assistance to six identified law enforcement agencies to—
- identify aspects of agency culture that may create or sustain these biases,
- develop sustainable strategies and partnerships to address and eliminate the impact of bias on police response and investigation of sexual and domestic violence, and
- implement trauma-informed, victim-centered procedures agency-wide.
Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services and Technical Assistance Program
Through the Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services and Technical Assistance Program, OVC provides funding to increase the number of victim service programs in state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. As of Fiscal Year 2020, more than 70 law enforcement agencies across the country receive support under this program to improve law enforcement-based victim services.
OVC also provides funding for the International Association of Chiefs of Police to serve as the program's training and technical assistance provider. OVC and International Association of Chiefs of Police are working to ensure that customized training and technical assistance are available to program grantees and are making it a priority to develop resources for all law enforcement agencies seeking to improve their victim service programs.
Read the Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services: Upholding Rights, Developing Programs, Improving Service to Victims Program article published by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to learn more.
Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve: Supporting Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm
The Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve: Supporting Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm was a demonstration project to address the needs of those directly impacted by community-police tensions or harm in the aftermath of a high-profile incident. This project sought to—
- help communities develop both a preventative and a reparative focus to reduce tensions,
- maximize communication,
- ensure that victims receive a just and meaningful victim centered response,
- address officer health and wellbeing, and
- promote problem-solving between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Under this project, five law enforcement agency-led demonstrations sites partnered with local community-based organizations. Read the Pathways Toward Collective Healing: Law Enforcement and the Communities they Serve: Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm report for an overview of implementation practices, demonstration site profiles, and examples of the tools developed and implemented across the sites.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police received funding from the OVC for the project.
Law Enforcement’s Role in Victim Compensation
Law enforcement officers are often the first professionals to speak with victims after a crime. Therefore, law enforcement plays a critical role in providing information to victims of crime and providing information about services available to them. One such service is crime victim compensation, a program which helps victims recover costs incurred as a result of the crime, including medical fees and lost income.
With support from OVC, the International Association of Chiefs of Police created resources under the Law Enforcement’s Role in Victim Compensation initiative to help law enforcement connect victims of crime with the victim compensation program in their state or territory. Available resources include, but are not limited to, training videos, guides, and a victims' rights pocket card.
Training for Law Enforcement to Improve Identification of and Response to Elder Fraud Victims
The National White Collar Crime Center received nearly $2 million under the Training for Law Enforcement to Improve Identification of and Response to Elder Fraud Victims program. The National White Collar Crime Center will work with the International Association of Chiefs of Police to identify current training, tools and practices being used to address elder fraud. The project will study current resources and responses to elder fraud in a rural and an urban jurisdiction in two of the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force districts.
The National White Collar Crime Center will also develop and deliver trainings to improve law enforcement's response to elder fraud tailored to the particular needs of different types of jurisdictions. The trainings will be tested, evaluated, and revised as needed and then made available to rural and urban law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Vicarious Trauma Response Initiative
Many first responders and victim service providers are affected by vicarious trauma, defined as the exposure to the traumatic experiences of other people, because of their repeated exposure to crime victimization.
Through OVC’s Vicarious Trauma Response Initiative, the International Association of Chiefs of Police provides dedicated resources and training and technical assistance to 12-community site implementation teams that aim to build interdisciplinary, cross-agency collaborations to assess and address the impact of vicarious trauma on their respective staff.