Victim Advocate Volunteer Program
Are you a compassionate citizen who's interested in helping those who have been victims of crimes? Do you want to learn more about how the court process works and how law enforcement manages crime incidents?
The Unified Police Department is seeking citizens to volunteer for the Victim Advocate Volunteer Program. As a volunteer you'll play a major role in helping the victims of crime to recover from these difficult and trying incidents. No experience necessary, just a clean record, a willingness to learn and able to commit some time to our program.
Training will be provided to individuals who have the desire to serve.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Please contact: Claudia McDonald @ 385.468.9482
Available Volunteer Positions
Once a victim’s immediate needs are taken care of, a court advocate will help guide the victim through the sometimes lengthy process of the legal system. This individual will assist victims in obtaining ‟no contact orders” or a protective order at the district level. They will be the liaison between the court and victim/s.
Some of their duties will consist of but not be limited to:
- Obtaining victim impact statements
- Speaking with the prosecutor about the victim's needs and their willingness to comply with the prosecution of the case.
Court Advocates may also take care of other practical matters, such as notifying the victim of all court proceedings and outcome of the hearings. Court Advocates will also assist the victims in seeking restitution and all other services that are applicable to said individual.
Each court has an employed advocate that may have other duties that need their attention. They will coordinate with the volunteer as to the needs of their particular court. This would obviously be a daytime commitment. The amount of time would depend on how many hours volunteer would like to obligate to our program.
This particular commitment would be a great opportunity for retired individuals, stay at home moms who are looking to fill a few hours a day for a wonderful program that is serving their community or a student who is looking to add some work experience to their resumes.
Mobile Crisis Response Team
These Mobile Crisis Response Team Members will respond to everything and anything that an officer or detective deems necessary. Including but not limited to domestics, rapes, suicides, child neglect, child abuse, assist with death notifications, homicide's and if needed, transportation to a shelter, Christmas Box House or a safe place with family or friends.
We have a Van for our program and this is what is used for transportation.
This team will be hand-picked and highly trained to work with Law Enforcement, ensuring the utmost professionalism and confidentiality. They will also understand and respect the chain of command. The volunteer will also be required to attend the following trainings:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
- Training on Policies & Procedures
- Medical Examiner-as available
- Evidence Sensitivity- training by a UPD Staff member
- Quarterly S.W.A.V.O. training
- Monthly Meetings
A 15-20 minute response time is what we strive for. In order to maintain an ideal response time, volunteers on the Mobile Crisis Team, CANNOT live outside of Salt Lake County. This is so we can assist the victim/s with their immediate needs. We must efficiently and effectively remain a positive action for the officers calling us out to the scene or they will not call on us again.
There will be a team created for each precinct area. They will be most valuable and will compliment the services already provided by Unified Police Department. They will also be knowledgeable of the court system process and the procedures of our department.
How this works is; you sign up for a day/s on the calendar for the month that you are willing to be on call. Usually the time slots are from 18:00 to 06:00. For those not familiar with military time, that is 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
A Office Advocate will assist the office staff in placing phone calls, setting appointments, providing information to victims such as court times and dates and notifying victims of upcoming Pre Trial Conferences' and trials. They will be responsible for putting together Bi-lingual bereavement and domestic violence packets for the Mobile Crisis Team.
Their training will mainly consist of knowing office procedures and policies. This volunteer would also be included in some of the Crisis Team Trainings. They will also need to be familiar with court procedures so they can knowledgably answer victim's questions. It will be up to the employed advocate whose court they are volunteering in, to train them for their particular needs.
This position would be a great opportunity for pre-law students to experience building a case from the initial report, investigation and fact sheets for the detectives so they can screen their cases.
This program is great for students who are looking to intern or specialize in sociology, psychology and or criminal justice.
The learned experience will also look great on a resume!
With the Court and office advocate, we would like a set of the week you would be available and how many hours you could commit to on a weekly basis. This is a good choice for those who can volunteer days only.
A Volunteer Chaplain is called to assist the department. The Chaplain Core consists of religious ministers from churches throughout the Sale Lake County area. The Chaplain Core renders spiritual support and guidance in times of need for the community and the department.
Volunteer Chaplains are available 24 hours a day and are assigned in a rotation with other Chaplains. Chaplains may be called to assist in a variety of situations such as:
- Notification of member’s families when Department members are seriously injured or killed.
- Notification of next of kin in serious injury or death cases handled by the department (including jail prisoners) or at the request of another agency.
- Grief counseling
- Counseling for both active and retired department members
- Assistance at scenes of disasters or emergencies.
Volunteer chaplains must be licensed or ordained clergy with standing in a church publication, or endorsed by a church officer of their denomination who is listed in a church publication. Applicants for the chaplain core must submit to a background investigation and possess a valid Utah driver’s license.
Volunteer chaplains must have a cell phone or phone that they can be reached on when they are on call. Carry a pager device for callouts and write reports of the calls they go out on.