Victims of car prowls, burglaries and other crimes in Redmond have a new place to turn for help with the 's recent introduction of a volunteer Victim Assistance Team.
Nicole Rogers, RPD's volunteer coordinator, said the idea for the project came from Police Chief Ron Gibson, who previously worked for a police department in Colorado that had a similar program.
“We’re really excited to be able to offer this program," Rogers said. "A big mission of our city and the (police) department is community outreach and following up with our cases.”
The three volunteers who are currently involved in the program, which officially began this Monday, are assisting victims by phone and offering information on legal resources, insurance procedures and more. The phone number to reach the team is 425-556-2531.
“It’s all about just providing resources…and getting them connected with the people they need to be connected with,” Rogers said.
In the past, Rogers said, officers would try to help connect victims with various resources as much as they were able, but doing so often cut into their other job duties. “We want the officers back out on the street doing police work,” she said.
For the time being, Rogers said, the program is focused on helping victims of property crimes—especially older victims. Families and victims of more serious crimes are already assisted by the department's chaplain, she said.
Each of the the volunteers underwent 30 hours of training. Eventually, Rogers said, the police department would like to expand the program to enable volunteers to meet with victims in their homes.