The unit also helps to connect victims with resources to help them through this process.
“Everything from applying for different court documents, protection orders, civil abatements, all the way through what paperwork they may need to submit for restitution to the county attorney’s office,” Duering said, “and just helping them get through that whole process so they understand what’s going on.”
Key to these efforts are those GIPD Victim/Witness Unit staff members.
“The big thing about assisting victims is that it’s a friendly face in the right place. The funds really pay for the most expensive part of this project, which is our people,” Duering said. “Lucky for us, we got a lot of bang for our buck because we have two great full-time employees who do that.”
With the federal VOCA funds, there is an in-kind match from the city required.
The GIPD match comes from providing facilities at the Police Department building for the staff members, Duering said.
“The office space was already here and available,” he said. “They use our phone system and then we provide them some support with our office staff, everything from answering the phones when people call to doing some of the grant monitoring.”
Being able to make a difference in people’s lives is huge, Duering said.