Crime Victim Specialist
The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 56.04, Victim assistance coordinator; crime victim liaison states: “Each local law enforcement agency shall designate one person to serve as the agency’s crime victim liaison” (CCP 56.04, (c)). Additionally, the code specifies that, “The duty of the crime victim liaison is to ensure that a victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is afforded the rights granted victims, guardians, or close relatives of deceased victims by Subdivisions (4), (6), and (9) of Article 56.02(a) of this code” (CCP 56.04 (d)).
In 2020 the Bellaire Police Department is excited to announce its first Crime Victim Specialist position in accordance with Article 56.04 and is focusing on enhancing the existing department victim services.
The Crime Victim Specialist Program with BPD is receiving funding from the Department of Justice Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant distributed through the Texas Officer of the Governor – Criminal Justice Divisions’ General Victim Assistance Direct Services Program.
The goal of the Crime Victim Specialist program is to provide services, protect, and advocate for victims of crime, family members of victims to assist in preventing further victimization and secondary trauma. Additionally, this specialist would serve as a conduit between crime victims, the police department, detectives and other entities in the criminal justice system to provide information on case status, available restoration resources, and provide additional support to the victims as needed.
The Crime Victim Specialist will provide information to the victims on exercising their rights, what resources are available to them, and, if the victim qualifies for financial assistance through the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund, help the victim in applying for financial assistance for medical bills, counseling, lost wages, funeral expenses and other crime related expenses the victim may have incurred. Additional victim resources could include; shelters, counseling resources, social services agency referrals, jail release information, parole notifications and protests.
The Bellaire Police Department values its ability to provide victims of crime with a compassionate, trauma informed advocate who will aid in continuously making Bellaire a better city.