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If you have been a victim of crime, the effects of your experience can go far beyond the crime itself and can cause you a considerable amount of inconvenience, worry or stress. Your University Police are committed to supporting victims and witnesses during the criminal justice process. We, and those who work with us in the criminal justice system, will do all we can to help you feel safe, informed and supported.
The professional, highly trained police officers and staff at University Police have experience working with crime victims, and can help make sure you get the legal and emotional support you need.
The purpose of this law is to insure fair and uniform treatment of crime victims, enhance delivery of needed services to crime victims and encourage public cooperation and support of the criminal justice process.
There are several key definitions which better explain who is eligible to receive these services. First, the victim must be the victim of a crime (misdemeanor or felony) or of Section 1192 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Harassments and other violations are not applicable. Secondly, the crime victim must be a natural person, not a Corporation, etc., who suffers direct or threatened emotional, financial or physical harm as a result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime. If the crime is a homicide, the immediate family of the victim or guardian of a minor is also eligible for the services. Importantly, if it is reasonably believed that an individual participated in the commission of the crime, that person is not considered a crime victim and is, therefore, ineligible. Finally, a witness who is a natural person and has evidence or information concerning a crime, and who provides said evidence or information to a criminal justice agency is also entitled to the services.
Since the University Police is the primary contact with crime victims and witnesses, it will contact or give assistance to victims in contacting the specific person, office, or agency which provides emergency medical services or other supportive social services as may exist in the community. In accordance with the Fair Treatment Standards for Crime Victims law, this office has prepared a comprehensive listing of all major counseling, support and treatment programs, both public and private, offered within the community and Erie County. This list also includes various agencies which are commonly sought by crime victims.
The list provides the phone numbers, addresses, services provided, and hours of operation of the listed agencies. Copies will be kept at the University Police headquarters, Bissell Hall.
The Erie County Victim/Witness Assistance Program works in conjunction with the District Attorney's Office and local police departments to insure that the crime victims program is properly implemented.
Victims and witnesses shall be routinely notified of steps open to police agencies and the District Attorney's Office to protect victims and witnesses from intimidation, tampering, physical injury or threats as a result of their cooperation in criminal prosecution. Such steps include: temporary or permanent relocation, assistance in changing employment, change of telephone number, transportation to and from court, moving assistance, judicial protection orders, protection services, arrest or prosecution for tampering with a witness, (PL215.10) and/or preventing an employer from penalizing a witness, (PL215.11).
When requested, the University Police will inform the absence from work. Also, when requested, if a crime victim or witness, as a direct result of a crime or because of cooperation with law enforcement, is unable to meet obligations to creditors the University Police Department will inform the creditors about the circumstances of the crime, including any loss or injury suffered by the victim and the amount of their cooperation.
While monetary compensation cannot eliminate the physical and emotional suffering of the victim, it can however abate some of the financial burdens placed upon the victims and their families.
Are you anxious, afraid or dealing with other emotional issues after a crime? The caring professionals at Counseling Services are here to listen, offer trusted advice, and help you move forward.
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