In 2004 the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office acknowledged the ever growing needs and importance of Crime Victims, so Sheriff Vallario began to establish a Victim Response Team. The Victim Response Team has a two-fold mission. First, and foremost, they provide immediate support to victims and their families during the chaos following a traumatic event. i.e. Crimes of Domestic Violence, Homicides, Sexual Assault, Robberies, Kidnapping, Child Abuse, Suicide, Sudden Death, Crimes against at-risk adults and Ethnic intimidation. Second, the Victim Response Team provides support to the Patrol, Detectives and Detentions Divisions with additional support for other Critical Incidents and Crisis situations that may require crisis support, emotional support, and information on referrals to the public.
In the fall of 2008, the Sheriff’s Office Victim Response Team began serving all our Municipal Police Departments within the Garfield County boundaries which include, Carbondale Police Department, Glenwood Springs Police Department, New Castle Police Department, Silt Police Department, Rifle Police Department, Parachute Police Department and the Garfield County Coroner’s Office; thus bringing continuity to how victims of crimes are served. We whole heartily believe this is a win-win partnership for all our agencies, communities and the citizens of Garfield County. Moreover, the Victim Response Team works closely with the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Victim Witness Office to assure a smooth case transition.
Sample Victim Flowchart
The Victim Response Team currently is staffed with one full-time Victim Response Team Coordinator and one full-time Victim Specialist as well as fourteen Victim Specialist Volunteers that provide 24 hours and day 365 days a year Crisis Response. Our Volunteers represent all geographical areas of Garfield County. Most maintain full-time employment and families in addition to providing on-call hours for Crime Victims in Garfield County.
In addition to on-scene Crisis Response, our team provides:
- Information on referrals and resources
- Victim Impact Statements
- Assistance with Advisements and Bond hearings
- Information on referrals and resources
- Public Education
- Information regarding Victim Compensation Assistance
Sexual Assault Response Team
In the fall of 2009, the Sheriff’s Office began adding a specialized Sexual Assault Response Team to the Victim Response Team. This team is comprised of specially trained Victim Specialists in the discipline of sexual assault investigations as well as the dynamics of treating victims of sexual assaults. While this team is apart of the Victim Response Team, the team is deployed by and primarily works along side the Sexual Assault Detectives within the Sheriff’s Office as well as our local SANE Nurses at Valley View Hospital and Glenwood Springs Child-Help River Bridge. Currently, our SART team’s primary response responsibilities are to the call out’s from the Sexual Assault Detectives within the Sheriff’s Office, we will however respond and provide Victim Assistance at the request of other Law Enforcement Agencies we serve. Detective services are not provided unless it falls within our mutual aid agreement.
All Victim Specialists and Victim Specialist Volunteers who serve on this specialized team, must have already completed their 40 hour Victim Response Academy and completed an additional 30 hours of specialty training on sexual assault. The SART team meets all national and state recommendations regarding SART Teams.
Have you received service from our Victim Response Team?
If so, we would like to know how we are doing. Your time and responses will only help us better our service to you. Please take the time to rate us in this quick survey. Click the link to be taken directly to the survey. Thank you in advance!
Joining Our Team
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Victim Response Team is actively recruiting additional Victim Specialist Volunteers. Our academy takes 40 hours to complete over approximately a month to two months. During the academy you are provided in-depth training on the dynamics of victimization as well as the Victim Rights Act of 1992, Colorado Criminal Justice System and Victim Compensation. Furthermore, our Victim Specialist Academy is modeled after the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance Academy.
Do you want to help your community? Can you give 12 hours a week? Can you make a one year commitment? If so, we want to hear from you. Fill out an application today, a new academy is starting soon!
For more information on becoming a Victim Response Team Volunteer, please contact:
Dr. Adam Ford
970-665-0200 ext. 2208