As first responders, law enforcement personnel are uniquely positioned to provide trauma-informed care and support to victims of crime as required by law. These efforts can have both an immediate and a long-term impact on the victim’s emotional recovery by developing a sense of security and stability and potentially mitigating the traumatic effects of the crime.
An effective response to the needs of crime victims is an integral part of the law enforcement mission. This essential function, performed by both sworn and civilian personnel, should address victims’ needs by establishing a continuum of support and resources as victims’ progress through the various phases of the criminal justice process.
Agencies should develop policies and procedures to recognize and address the needs and rights of crime victims during each contact; support, provide access to resources, and assist victims as they continue to interact with the criminal justice system; and act as a liaison to appropriate victim assistance and service agencies.
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