State police posts across Kentucky are expanding their services to include a victim’s advocate who will provide support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.
A program called Victim Advocate Support Services (VASS) was announced on Thursday at the KSP post in Elizabethtown.
The program will connect crime victims with resources like counseling and legal support, and keep them up to date as their case moves through the court system.
State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders says adding a victim’s advocate at all 16 KSP posts will free up police to enforce the law and solve cases.
“I’m very proud of the men and women of the state police and the job they do, and our lab is second to none, but this will allow a victim to feel that somebody cares and will keep them abreast at how their case is progressing through the criminal justice system," Sanders stated.
Kentucky State Police opened more than 8,000 criminal cases last year that involved more than 10,000 victims, who in many cases, experienced severe trauma.
State police posts plan to be fully staffed with victim’s advocates early next month.
A $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will fund the program for the first year.
Kentucky is only the second state in the nation to place victim’s advocates at every state police posts.