The New Castle County Police Department was awarded a $300,000 grant to expand their Victim Services Unit.

This program is funded through the Delaware Criminal Justice Council by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crimes.

The unit is staffed with three civilian victim advocates. Their roles and responsibilities include reviewing reports and helping victims of violent crimes navigate the criminal justice process. These advocates are available 24/7 to respond to major incidents to provide immediate assistance and address the needs of victims impacted by violent crime.

The funding will allow the agency to hire two additional advocates and create a supervisor’s position, thereby expanding the unit to a total of five advocates, two of whom are bilingual. Expanding the unit will increase efficiency, productivity and overall quality of service provided to victims of violence, increasing the ability to provide immediate assistance to more people impacted by violence.

“Hopefully, this will reinforce our message to all communities that we are truly committed to assisting them during their time of need,” said Col. Vaughn Bond Jr. “The addition of another Spanish bilingual advocate will serve to strengthen our relationship with members from the Hispanic community, who may be uncomfortable navigating the criminal justice system.”

“We are all proud of the emphasis of our New Castle County police on community engagement and the specialized services they provide to victims of crime,” New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer said. “This new grant funding strengthens our ability to meet the needs of victims by connecting them with healing and recovery services and supporting their participation in the criminal justice system.”