This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and the Cape Coral Police Department has put certain steps in place for neighbors in the community who become victims to crime.
The CCPD offers several programs as well as one-on-one assistance to help people in crisis. The victim assistance unit says it deals with around 5,000 cases a year, and because Cape Coral’s population is booming, that number will probably only continue to go up.
But these aren’t all crime victims in need of help: the unit deals with non-victims as well. That could mean anything from a death in the family to assisting the elderly. Some of the victim assistance advocates told WINK News what’s most rewarding about their jobs.
“Being able to be there to help someone in their time of need,” said advocate Brandi Tucker. “During the crisis, call them and then having them come back afterwards.”
“Probably the biggest reward is when somebody feels their sense of security is back, or their confidence,” said coordinator Christine Seymour. “Just being able to help them to come back and say ‘Wow, what a great help you were for me.'”
One of the unit’s programs, the Domestic Violence Lethality Program, launched in October. What makes it special is how it offers immediate resources to help victims. An officer may be dispatched out in a domestic violence situation and will do what is called a “lethality assessment,” in which the officer determines if that abuser is going to seriously harm the victim. If so, a victim assistance advocate from the CCPD will be immediately dispatched to the scene, rather than waiting till the next day.
Since the program launched in October, they have gone out 112 times.
Anyone in need of assistance can call (239) 574-0656. Visit the CCPD website for more information.