LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three Louisville agencies just received $1.56 million in federal grants to increase support services for victims of violent crimes.
The Louisville Metro Police Department, Jefferson County Attorney’s Office and the Center for Women and Families held a joint press conference Monday afternoon to announce the added resources that the four grants will help fund.
“At a time when budget cuts are forcing us to rethink how we operate, and we’re still trying to figure out ways to meet the needs of this community, it’s truly exciting to have the opportunity to be able to use grant funding to support the advocacy that is so important to the victims of violent crime,” LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said.
There are currently two victim advocates with LMPD, Conrad said. They help victims of violent crimes, abuse and sexual assaults to get the resources they need. These grants will allow LMPD to add seven more advocates and fund them for the next three years.
"Violent crime has the potential to change the course of a person's life," said Nicole Carroll with LMPD Victim Services. "And as we all know, crime impacts victims, witnesses, families and entire communities."
The County Attorney’s Office already has three advocates, and one of the grants will support those existing advocates for another three years. Last year alone, the County Attorney’s team of advocates helped 4,450 victims.
With more advocates, they’ll be able to provide more services right away, like meeting with victims immediately after the crime to develop emergency plans.
“And we’ll assist victims with filing victim compensation claims, provide court accompaniment, coordinate interpreter or translation services, provide investigation updates, intervene with employers, academic institutions, creditors, service providers, and landlords,” Carroll said.
The grants will also help provide more training for these advocates and emergency housing assistance for victims.
Department leaders plan to reapply for these grants in the future so they don’t lose any of these new resources.
Mayor Greg Fischer, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith were also at the press conference.
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