Victim/Witness Services Unit

Victim & Witness Program

The Victim / Witness program was developed in support of N.C.G.S. 15A-825 - "Treatment Due Victims and Witnesses." All Durham Police Department employees have an obligation to ensure that victims and witnesses are treated with fairness, dignity and compassion.

Victim Services Unit Responsibilities

Employees of the department’s Victim Services Unit provide confidential services to victims and witnesses of violent crimes on a 24-hour basis. Victim Services Unit are responsible for:
  • Giving current information on case status
  • Making referrals to other agencies in the service area, victim services advocates
  • Providing general assistance with criminal justice system procedures
  • Rendering other individual services as needed to augment those services already provided by other agencies
  • Serving as advocates
In addition to direct services, the Victim Services Unit distributes information to internal and external audiences, facilitates training for other DPD units and community groups, and coordinates the department’s annual observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Service Areas Covered by the Victim Services Unit

  • Homicides / suicides
  • Serious assaults / sexual assaults
  • Traumatic events
    • Accidents with serious injury or death
    • Natural disasters
    • Other traumatic events with serious injury or death
    • Residential fires
    • School catastrophes
  • Criminal justice support
  • Legal referrals
  • Information on case / Investigation status
  • Explanation of criminal justice system and procedures
  • Emotional support and referral
  • Emotional support, understanding victimization and trauma reduction / stabilization
  • Crisis Intervention. Partners or services include:
    • Durham Crisis Response Center
    • Family Counseling Services
    • Catholic Charities
    • Private practice
  • Follow-up and monitoring
  • Personal safety plan. Partners include:
    • Domestic Violence Unit
    • Durham Crisis Response Center
    • Crime Prevention Unit
  • Personal advocacy ( local, state and national resources)
  • General assistance or referrals
  • Community resources
  • Housing / safe shelter (Durham Crisis Response Center, Urban Ministries)
  • Physical necessities (Food Bank, Clothing Pantries, Churches and donations as available)
  • Temporary protective orders / bond orders (ex: Domestic Violence Unit, Durham Crisis Response Center
  • Crime victim's compensation
  • Compensation assistance (NC Crime Victim's Compensation Commission Application
  • Criminal medical expenses (NC Crime Victim's Compensation Commission, LATCH)
  • Miscellaneous medical expenses (pro bono when available)

Victim Advocates