The Victim Assistance Unit works within the Investigation Division of the Lakewood Police Department. The unit exists to offer comprehensive support services to innocent persons who have suffered physical, emotional or financial loss resulting from a criminal incident. Staff and volunteers respond to victims and survivors of violent crime or sudden death, while other cases are followed up with a phone call, letter or a personal visit. Members of the unit also help victims apply for Crime Victim Compensation and provide referrals for any long-term support they might need.
The Victim Assistance Unit is staffed with volunteer advocates and full-time advocates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To contact the Victim Assistance Unit directly during business hours, please call 303-987-7191 or email Victim Assistance.
If immediate assistance is needed and deemed necessary after hours, an on-call advocate can be paged through Jeffcom dispatch at 303-980-7300.
- You may be eligible for assistance if you have been a victim of a crime, are innocent of any wrongdoing in the incident and cooperate with the prosecution of the case.
- You must report the crime to the police within 72 hours of its occurrence and must cooperate fully.
- Victim compensation requires an application process, and all applications are reviewed by the victim compensation board.
- Approved funds can be used to help replace doors, locks or windows damaged during a criminal incident, pay medical expenses or the cost of mental health counseling as a result of a criminal incident.
- Funds to compensate victims are collected from court fines and surcharges.
- Except under very unusual circumstances, you have up to one year from the date of the crime to file your claim.
- Advocates are available on scene and immediately after the crime.
- Referrals are made for treatment and counseling.
- Victims are provided with information on the case and the ongoing investigation.
- Assistance is provided later in the legal process.
- Assistance is provided with recovering a victim’s property used as evidence in a case.
- Victim advocates will help with the application for compensation.
- Victim advocates can provide support to the victim during court appearances.
- Special services are available for family members of homicide victims, victims of family violence and sexual assault.
A judge might issue a protection order in a criminal case. Protection orders prohibit the defendant from contacting the victim unless otherwise stated in the order.
Civil Protection Orders
Civil Protection Orders can be obtained at the county court and the following agencies can help victims request a protection order:
Municipal Protection Orders
Municipal Protection Orders Can only be requested in domestic violence cases. A person arrested for a domestic violence related charge will automatically have a condition of his or her bond that will prohibit that person from having contact with the victim(s) or witnesses in the case. If you are a victim in a domestic violence case filed in Lakewood Municipal Court, you may request a restraining order in addition to the bond condition. The restraining order will remain in effect until the case is closed, which in most cases, is approximately one year. A restraining order may be modified upon the filing of a written request with the court. Once a request is filed, the court will set a hearing date to determine whether the restraining order should be modified. If you are not involved in a domestic violence case, but you would still like a restraining order, you will need to make a request with the county court where you live.
Volunteers respond to a variety of emergency situations and assist law enforcement personnel by providing support and referrals to victims of crime.
What does it take to be a victim advocate volunteer?
- Must be 21 or over
- Have a good driving record
- Be able to pass a drug screening
- Can pass a background check and polygraph
- Can Complete a 40 hour training given by the Victim Assistance unit
- Be on call for one weekend shift per month
- Attend a monthly volunteer meeting
- Are a good team player
- Have the drive to help within your community
If you are interested in becoming a victim advocate volunteer, please contact us using the contact information below.