Altovise (contd)- M.S. Lieutenant Victim Services Unit Philadelphia Police Department

There are agencies throughout the city that help with long term support. So what we do is we provide some short term support, we help support you and guide you through if you have to go through the criminal justice process. We’ll discuss that with you, tell you what that would look like, tell you what to expect, and then we will refer you to an agency that can help you long term. So there are agencies for kids, domestic violence victims, the elderly, shooting victims, homicide victims, LGBT community, they’re everywhere. It’s just that the people need to know where to go. So that’s what we do, we make sure they know where to go.

That’s why it’s good that we have officers in all parts of the city, because they have a thumb print of what their community looks like. It’s important to know that, not just what their community looks like, but how their community is different from the next community and be able to figure out how to ask questions about how they operate. Who makes up this community, what is important to them? That’s what you need to know. Because you can go anywhere in the world and everybody’s going to be different and what might stand out for you won’t stand out for somebody else. So just the idea that you have to remain open and you have to ask people what’s important to them. That’s what matters. Then you can tailor your service to that individual person. So I myself may not know one certain area is ravaged by shootings but their victim assistance officer may know. So if you get a kid who may or may not be a shooting victim, may be a victim of theft, you might see some behaviors that make you think there is more going on. Maybe they live in a community that has heard shootings or have had friends who were shot and so it’s important to know when you see these behaviors, that you don’t just deal with that issue, there might be more to deal with and you need to talk about that.

We all have somebody in our lives that we can see in a situation. It’s just your biggest fear. What if children were just taken off the street. I’m sure they have the same thought, for their children and their families. The last thing you want is for something to happen to your family, so we can relate to the people.

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