Victims of Crime Get Help from a New Police Unit

Crime victims in Kansas City are receiving much needed help through a new program at the police department. Over 30 community outreach groups have joined forces to assist victims of crime get back on their feet after a violent episode.

For example, a 70 year old Kansas City man was the victim of a home invasion; the suspect stole some of his food and smashed his appliances with a sledgehammer. The man and his wife could not afford to replace them and to his surprise an offer of help came from the police. Jerry Grubb, a Victim Assistance Specialist with the Kansas City Police, sent the man a letter offering to help locate resources to help the man put his life back together. The victim, who wishes to remain nameless, was connected to Redemptorist Social Services Center who was able to supply donated appliances to the elderly couple.

The program was established to restore victims’ trust in the police and show the community that they care. Police Chief Darryl Forte has been working to implement a victim’s assistance program since his appointment in 2011. Forte hopes the program will show residents that police are sympathetic and therefore give people the confidence to help police in their investigations.

The police chief’s initiative gained momentum after a local newspaper published a series that brought the citizen’s leeriness of cooperating with police to light. People are afraid to work with police because of fear of retaliation—they don’t feel protected by police.

Forte is optimistic that this new program will instill greater faith in the police department.The 70 year old crime victim praised Grubbs and said, “He gave me more confidence.”

Source: The Kansas City Star