CSPD seeking volunteers for Victim Advocacy Unit



The Gazette, Colorado Springs



The Colorado Springs Police Department’s Victim Advocacy Unit, or VAU, is seeking volunteers to help the staff provide support and critical resources to crime victims in Colorado Springs. The unit provides services and support to those who have been victimized by crimes that are covered by Colorado’s Victim Rights Act. Some of the services include: • Immediate crisis intervention and safety planning (24 hours a day, 7 days a week oncall victim assistance) • Information on the Colorado’s Victim Rights Act • Assistance in completing applications for the Crime Victim Compensation Fund • Referrals to community agencies and resources • Support during the investigative process and education on the criminal justice system • Arrangement of interpretation services for victims with limited English proficiency • Information and assistance on obtaining protection orders Volunteers work side-by-side with fulltime staff members. After applying, those who are selected to become a VAU volunteer will be provided 72 hours of specialized training at the VAU Volunteer Victim Advocate Training Academy starting March 21. The academy is comprised of four-hour classes on Monday and Thursday evenings. Participants will be trained in victim advocacy skills including crisis intervention, community resources and Victim Advocacy Unit operations. Students will also gain a general understanding on the various units and functions of the Colorado Springs Police Department. In conjunction with the academy, on-thejob training is provided to those volunteers recruited to the unit. Applications are due March 7. Complete the application at springscaps. org. All applicants are required to complete a criminal background check and polygraph prior to the enrollment in the training academy.