In an effort to help crime victims, University Police Services has been awarded a grant under the 2018 Law Enforcement-Based Direct Victim Services and TA Program.
The U.S. Department of Justice awarded Police Services the three-year $274,725 grant to create a victim service position at the university to aid victims of crime. The newly allocated funding will benefit The University of Nevada, Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College, the Desert Research Institute and Western Nevada College.
Assistant Director of the University Police Services, Todd Renwick, explained that the grant will directly benefit crime victims and help them receive assistance.
“Every day we miss an opportunity to show victims of crime more attention,” Renwick said. “This is a way to help close that gap.”
The new grant will offer services across a broad spectrum of crime, and is not specific to any one group. It includes faculty, staff, students and visitors of the university, according to Renwick.
“These services would be for a victim of any crime, not just interpersonal violence such as domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, etc. This position will be able to follow-up with and reach out to all of our victims that we have cases with to ensure they don’t need any additional resources,” said Renwick.
Police Services wants to create a solid foundation for members of the community. The funding is aiming to create a more direct form of communication within the university.
Renwick explained that this position was created to make sure that the university community knows exactly what resources are available to them and where to get help. There will be an advocate to assist the victim and provide a multitude of different services, specific to each different case.
“All victims of any crime will have the ability to have an advocate assist them for off campus resources if needed, under a comfortable relationship,” Renwick said. “The advocate will work for them. For on campus resources, the advocate will work with other areas on campus.”
The university has many other services and programs available, but Renwick anticipates that the new funding will accommodate the established programs and vice versa.
“The goal is to have this position integrate and become knowledgeable with all existing programs so they can support each other,” said Renwick.
Adam Garcia, University Police Services Assistant Vice President and Director, also told NevadaToday that the grant would be an enhancement of existing services.
“The intent of the grant is not to replace any of the valuable services currently in place at the University or within our community,” Garcia said.
Programs and services like this are effective in supporting the community, but they are obsolete if the community is unaware of them. There are many services made available by the university, but many people are uninformed about the aid.
“The university does a great job at making sure these resources are available to our campus, but we need to make sure our community knows about them,” said Renwick.
For more information on Police Services, go to unr.edu/police.