Expanded police help to victims

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte speaking about the Police Athletic League. A new police victim assistance unit has been busy, very busy.

In five months, they have worked with 1,058 victims of aggravated assault or robbery, Police Chief Darryl Forte said Monday.

Also from his blog report:

Detectives in the unit offer crisis intervention, criminal justice information and referrals for services and needs like food, clothing, grief and trauma counseling.

By far, the most requested help is trauma counseling.

Many victims suffer emotional scars (and sometimes physical ones) like post traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and sleeplessness.

Police have long offered such assistance to loved ones in cases of homicides and domestic violence. They extended it to encourage more trust in law enforcement and reduce retaliation crimes.

“For too long,” Forte said, “too many of these victims chose not to cooperate with investigation or prosecution of their case because they wanted to seek some form of justice themselves.”

A woman victim recently told a unit detective that she changed her mind and would cooperate, he said.

“I expect to see more of this in the future.”

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