INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - They are at the scene of every major crime, but you hear little about them. IMPD’s Victim Assistance Unit (VAU) is dedicated to helping those who have been hurt.
Formed in 1975, the unit was the first in the nation to offer 24 hour on-scene crisis intervention within a law enforcement agency.
“We are kind of the calm in the storm, if you will. We can kind of help (victims) talk about what their options are. For a lot of them, they are still in that moment. So we can lay things out and be the calm in the storm,” said VAU manager Lisa Brown.
Besides providing on–scene crisis intervention, the VAU offers emotional support to victims and families during a crisis and can refer victims to support groups or special counseling.
“We listen in for things they may need, concerns they may have, whether that be for their family or any type of concerns that they have. We listen in for those and act appropriately,” said Brown.
Brown’s team responds to police calls for cases that include homicides, robberies, assaults and child abuse. She says the work done by the VAU is critical.
“Our preference is always to get there that first day when it happened because we've found that people are a whole lot more receptive to our intervention when we get there on the scene,” said Brown.
Victim Assistance doesn't stop at the county level.
The State of Indiana has a victim compensation fund. It was created to assist victims, or their dependents, with certain costs incurred as a direct result of a violent crime.
The huge number of tree limbs knocked down Kokomo when two tornadoes hit the city three weeks ago are starting to disappear.
Police dispatchers around Central Indiana reported a number of vehicle slide-offs occurred Monday morning.
Part of the Monon Trail will be closed Monday morning.