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Brighton Police Department Victim Assistance Program holds to the belief that concern for the victim of crime is paramount. Coinciding with this belief, the primary function of the Victim Assistance Program is to provide effective services that focus on crisis intervention, emotional support, education and assistance to victims of crime in compliance with the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Colorado. Victims of crime have the right to be: treated with dignity, compassion and respect; informed about what steps can be taken in the case of intimidation or harassment; informed on all charges filed; notified of any change in the status of the accused; given the opportunity for input into decisions regarding plea bargains, sentencing and parole hearings; provided restitution or civil remedy; given property after a case has been settled; given instruction on community resources and other information that will assist recovery. Volunteers act as a sounding board, an advocate, a liason, an assistant, a resource and simply a person that is there to care.
Volunteers are provided free 40 hour comprehensive training on topics such as statute, procedure, communication, crisis intervention, trauma, neuroscience, legal issues, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, STD's, grief/loss, suicide, issues with infants, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly, among others. Volunteers are required to sign up for a minimum of four (4) 12-hour shifts per month where they will be on-call for victims of crime. Additionally, volunteers must complete "ride-alongs" with uniformed officers once every three (3) months. There is also a mandatory monthly meeting. Volunteers are required to make a 12-month committment, but leave of absences can be requested. Internships are also available for those in the psychology, sociology, criminal justice, law or other related fields.
- Michael Fabian
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