“How we interact with victims and the survivors of crime is just as important as how we try to investigate crime in the first place,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Thursday at the release of “The 101: The NYPD and Victim Assistance” at Police Headquarters
“It’s about better internal policies and procedures, it’s about building stronger cases and it’s about making everything we do more effective, more efficient,” he said. “It’s also about simple human interaction and making sure victims have access to services.”
The following NYPD initiatives are listed in the book:
- Crime victims assistance program, which places two victim advocates in each precinct, one that specializes in working with domestic violence victims.
- Child Trauma Response Teams, which are trained to help reduce the impact of family violence on children.
- Mental Health First Aid Training for civilians in traffic enforcement, communications and school safety in dealing with the mentally ill.
- Training for new homicide detectives on best practices for “communicating with families of homicide victims, common traumatic reactions, and vicarious trauma.”
“We recognize that experiencing a crime can be a traumatic, disorienting, sometimes devastating moment in a person’s life,” said Susan Herman, the deputy commisioner for the Office of Collaborative Policing, “and we’re committed to finding ways to mitigate the harms, improve the interactions between the police department and victims of crime and restore their sense of safety.”