Victim Services Unit (VSU)
Victim Services Unit (VSU) advocates are volunteers who assist law enforcement; they work with families and survivors to deal with the initial impact of grief, and offer information to help the families get through the first of many changes in their lives.
VSU advocates are contacted by Central Dispatch at the request of an Emergency Responder on scene; advocates may have to respond to the accident scene, a family’s home, or the hospital. Calls may include motor vehicle accidents with fatalities or serious injuries, homicides, suicides, sudden unexpected natural deaths, fires or for any reason an officer feels the family needs support, direction through the judicial process, or information and help with what they need to do next.
Advocates receive 40 hours of classroom training. This training covers a broad range of topics that include: grief counseling, court procedures, visiting a funeral home, and touring the Correction’s Center, to name a few. They also attend monthly meetings to report on calls responded to within the previous month and to provide additional training on various topics.