This document makes recommendations and provides a brief overview the results from a survey aimed at gaining knowledge of the landscape of law enforcement-based victim services across the United States.
This document summarizes the results of a survey conducted in two phases, the first phase targeted only law enforcement-based victim services (LEV) programs funded through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) LEV Program and/or OVC Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants, while the second phase expanded the sample to all law enforcement agencies indicating that they address victim services in the 2016 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey. Follow-up interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of survey respondents from both phases. The survey’s goal was to fill an information gap about the landscape of LEV programs across the country. Of the 2,520 law enforcement agencies included in the sample, 445 provided valid responses. 420 agencies from 47 states were included in the final sample. Select survey findings include: about two out of three, or 67% of the responding agencies were local or municipal police agencies, 26% were sheriff’s offices, 4% fell into other categories such as campus or tribal police; 81% of the responding agencies had 250 or fewer officers; over 70% of the responding agencies indicated that they provide victim services via a specialized victim services unit with designated full- or part-time personnel; and victim service programs in the sample had been in existence for an average of 16 years. The recommendations suggest that LEV programs can be sustained through long-term funding, strategic growth, agency integration, data collection and evaluation, and training and technical assistance.