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Law Enforcement


Whenever a crime is committed, law enforcement officers are typically the first to arrive on the scene and interact with victims. As a result, police officers often have more contact with crime victims in the immediate aftermath of a crime than any other criminal justice professional.

An officer’s initial response to a victim can have a long-lasting impact on that individual’s experience in the justice system and their participation in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.

This puts law enforcement in a unique position to meet a victim’s needs immediately and to encourage and facilitate the victim’s participation in the criminal justice system. To assist law enforcement officers, OVC supported the development of the Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims strategy, which helps officers compassionately and effectively meet the needs of crime victims.

The following resources are provided for law enforcement professionals.

According to 2019 data, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children assisted law enforcement in 29,000 cases of missing children and less than 1 percent of those cases were nonfamily abductions.

Also see the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Nonfamily Abducted Children: National Estimates and Characteristics

Information on police response to victims with disabilities is available in the OVC Victims with Disabilities: Collaborative, Multidisciplinary First Response (DVD and Guidebook). For additional information, visit the Victims with Disabilities section of our website.

Information about PTSD and other mental health issues is available from the Sidran Institute. For additional information, visit the Physical and Mental Health section of our site.

Date Created: June 1, 2020