Friendswood Police Receive 14th Year Funding for Crime Victim Assistance Program
The Friendswood Police Department Crime Victim Assistance Program has been awarded a grant to continue funding its Victim Assistance Program to serve crime victims in Friendswood. The $52,000 grant will offset costs of salary and fringe benefits of the Crime Victim Liaison.
Governor Rick Perry announced the award on August 29, 2012. The grant is awarded under the federal Victims of Crime Act fund (VOCA) and is distributed by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division. VOCA funds provide outreach and advocacy to identify needs and expedite appropriate services for crime victims. Programs address issues such as family violence, child abuse and sexual assault.
Friendswood PD has a state and nationally recognized victim services program that has been funded for the past 13 years by the Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) federal grant through the Office of the Governor. Friendswood remains a rarity among law enforcement agencies by having a full time victim assistance liaison. The program parallels the process of apprehending and prosecuting offenders. In addition, the program’s framework involves both a governmental and community response that honors a separate social obligation to victims and provides a focused effort to ensure the victim’s safety, helping victims recover from the trauma of crime and providing resources to aid victims in getting their lives back on track.
Law enforcement based victim assistance, at the earliest stages after a crime has been committed, assures victims the continuum of care and appropriate referrals both long and short term, regardless of whether the case results in a prosecution.
The Crime Victim Liaison, Suzanne Sampson, can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 281-996-3349. The program’s services are available around the clock for emergencies.