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Being the victim of a crime, especially violent crime, can impact people in many different ways. The Victim Services Unit was established to provide dedicated resources and point of contact to help with the different needs someone may have in managing the emotional, financial, and physical needs following a crime.
Available services include:
While there are many different supports VSU can offer crime victims, they cannot:
The VSU currently has one full-time staff member, Clorissa Novak, the Victim Services Coordinator. Ms. Novak is not a police officer. She is part of GRPD's professional (civilian) staff and has a background in social work and victim advocacy. The VSU at times hosts academic interns from local universities who work alongside Ms. Novak in a limited capacity.
Ms. Novak also oversees the Volunteer Victim Advocates program, a group of community members who are on-call to provide support to victims of crime involving a death and, depending on the circumstances, unexpected deaths that are non-criminal in nature.
Victims who would like assistance may contact the Victim Services Coordinator by phone or email. Response times can vary, but be assured, the Victim Service Coordinator will contact you as soon as she is able to do so. If you are experiencing an emergency before you are contacted, call 911. For connection to after-hours mental health support, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at (800) 273-8255.
Working with VSU is optional. VSU is there to provide support and connections to resources for crime victims but if you choose not to use these services, it in no way impacts the investigation, priority, or outcome of a case. You do not have to participate in the investigation of your case to receive help from the VSU.
Information shared with VSU personnel is treated as confidential with the following exceptions:
The State of Michigan, through the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), has a Crime Victim Compensation program available to those who have been personally physically injured during the commission of a crime or surviving family members of homicide victims. VSU staff can help crime victims complete and submit an application to get these funds but has no part in the review and processing of applications, nor in deciding the amount of an award. For more information on the MDHHS program, requirements, and how to apply, use the link below.
MDHHS Crime Victim Compensation
Monday: 7:30 am - 4:00 pm; Tuesday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Note: This is a typical schedule but hours may vary. Victim Services is not available on holidays observed by the City of Grand Rapids