Identifying Roles and Responsibilities of Victim Services in Law Enforcement Agencies

Identifying Roles and Responsibilities of Victim Services in Law Enforcement Agencies
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-02-29
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Identifying Roles and Responsibilities of Victim Services in Law Enforcement Agencies
Unit 2 Transcript: Identifying Roles and Responsibilities of Victim Services in Law Enforcement Agencies
Unit 3 Workbook: Identifying Roles and Responsibilities of Victim Services in Law Enforcement Agencies
Unit 4 Recording: Identifying Roles and Responsibilities of Victim Services in Law Enforcement Agencies

Law enforcement-based victim services personnel play a pivotal role in crisis intervention, safety planning, guiding victims through the criminal justice process, and ensuring victims’ rights are upheld. Introducing us into the work of victim services, the challenges it faces, and the elements upon which its success is contingent upon are Meg Garvin and Amy Durall.

Meg Garvin is the Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) and a Clinical Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School, a leading expert in victim rights, she has testified before Congress, state legislature, and the judiciary. Meanwhile, Amy Durall is a fellow with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and contributed to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims, and Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services, among others.

Specifics of the webinar are about:

  • The responsibilities of victim services in terms of its mission, vision, and values, its partners, and the community members they serve.
  • The value of clarifying roles through consistent training to facilitate retention, establish accountability, and provide consistent services.
  • The essence of advocacy and the different ways it supports people and empowers them to have a voice.
  • Differentiating between community-based and system-based advocacy.
  • The three common forms of the law enforcement-based victim services and distinguishing between them based on the partnership type and the advocate’s employment status.
  • The questions that shape the victim services gaps as it relates to the starting point of victims’ rights, whether charges are filed, and the availability of services.
  • The scope and confines of the victim services role as it relates to:
    • Executive process including budgeting, policy development and review, partnerships, and role education.
    • Crisis intervention on scene and as follow up, and safety planning.
    • System navigation and accompaniment that guides victims throughout the justice system process.
  • What victim services ought to provide in terms of safety, support, information, access, continuity, voice, and justice.
  • Areas that law enforcement victim services are not expected to provide in terms of administrative support, peer support, diagnosis and treatment, investigation, privilege or confidentiality protections, and serving suspects.
  • The areas of role confusion where victim services personnel have a behavioral health licensure or is a sworn personnel.
  • The foundational concepts of privacy and confidentiality and their nuances are shaped by the legal landscape that influences the navigation of survivors’ rights.
  • The isolating nature of law enforcement-based victim services that highlights the importance of access to resources and a network.

Questions from the webinar participants are about:

  • The term “co-victims” and their inclusion in victim rights statutes.
  • Trends in victim services towards specialization based on specific types of crimes or community needs.
  • Restorative justice practices and considerations for their use into the landscape of victim services.

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Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “This webinar was very informative.”
  • “The presenter is fantastic. Really well-spoken and can communicate clearly, succinctly, and effectively.”
  • “Thank you so much for the Webinar, it was amazing. The information was great.”
  • “Excellent webinar. I learned a lot of new information and terminology. Thank you for also sharing the resources. Very helpful.”
  • “Awesome webinar! Information packed!”
  • “Thank you for clarifying the limits on roles and responsibilities, and the difference between the terms private, confidential, and privileged.”
  • “This was a great webinar with a lot of important foundational information. It was very clearly presented and easy to follow and understand. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I look forward to the next one in the series!”
  • “It was interesting to hear about the nuts and bolts of what a law enforcement-based victim service position would be like.”



About the National Policing Institute: Formerly known as the National Police Foundation, the National Policing Institute’s mission is to pursue excellence in policing through innovation and science. It is the oldest nationally-known, non-profit, non-partisan, and non-membership-driven organization dedicated to improving America’s most noble profession – policing.

The National Policing Institute has been on the cutting edge of police innovation for over 50 years since it was established by the Ford Foundation as a result of the President’s Commission on the Challenge of Crime in a Free Society (1967) and the related conclusions of the Kerner and Eisenhower Commissions, taking place during the same era.



Additional Resources
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