LMPD, partner agencies receive nearly $1.4 million in funding to expand crime victim services

December 3, 2019

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad, joined by Mayor Greg Fischer and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, KY-3rd District, as well as partners from the Office of the Jefferson County Attorney, Metro Council and The Center for Women and Families, today announced three grants received by LMPD for victims’ services.

The grants, totaling nearly $1.4 million, will allow Louisville Metro Police to expand its Victim Services Unit from three full-time advocates to eight. Additionally, the grants will provide funding for training, and emergency housing assistance for victims, and allow for demand reduction details for human trafficking.

“Expanding our ability to meet the needs of victims is an essential part of policing,” Conrad said. “This additional grant funding gives us an amazing opportunity to expand how we can assist people when they need support the most.”

“Our police officers are often the first people to encounter crime victims and helping them through that difficult moment requires tremendous compassion and patience, as well as special training and skills,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.

One of the grants, $750,000 from Improving Criminal Justice Responses (ICJR), was awarded jointly to LMPD, The Center for Women and Families, and the Jefferson County Attorney’s office. The grant was written and will be overseen by the Louisville Metro Criminal Justice Commission. The money will be used over three years to hire two additional LMPD victim services specialists, as well as to provide training and support for domestic abuse and human trafficking interventions by all three agencies.

LMPD also received $513,895 from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) through the Law Enforcement-Based Victim Specialist Program. This money will be used over three years to fund two new LMPD victim service specialists, as well as provide emergency housing assistance to victims and other services.

And finally, LMPD will receive $123,544 from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) for one year to continue funding an existing victim services specialist, as well as hire an additional specialist.

“Victims of violent crime deserve access to professional care and the very best in services available to them,” said Yarmuth. “This funding will ensure that LMPD officers and partner agencies have the adequate resources, training, and staffing they need to protect and support Louisvillians in times of crisis. I’m thankful for these U.S. Department of Justice programs that are providing this vital funding to our city, and I will continue to fight for every federal dollar available to Kentucky’s Third Congressional District.”

“Violent crime has the potential to change the course of a person’s life and we know crime impacts victims, witnesses, families, and entire communities,” said Nicole Carroll, Director of the LMPD Victim Services Unit. “These expanded services will help victims cope with the trauma and aftermath of

victimization and to lessen the inconveniences often associated with participation in the criminal justice process.”

The Victim Services Unit expects to see continued growth in the number of victims requesting assistance, especially as LMPD launches public awareness initiative to get the word out about available services.

“There is no way we can address all the needs of our community without partnerships,” said Elizabeth Wessels-Martin, Chief Empowerment Officer for The Center for Women and Families. “Receiving this grant together means we can get additional training and be able to improve upon what we are doing to serve victims of domestic and sexual abuse and human trafficking.”

The additional money, coupled with $176,185 in VOCA funding that the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office also received, means even more opportunities to provide quality services, said Mike O’Connell, Jefferson County Attorney.

“We must find ways as partner agencies to leverage our work together and seek additional funding in the face of budget shortages,” O’Connell said. “Only through partnerships like these can Louisville fully support victims throughout their journeys as survivors.”

“When we work together, our community is better prepared to support our neighbors in need of help. We want everyone impacted by these heinous violations of trust to know we stand ready as a community to help them. No one should have to suffer alone,” said Councilwoman Sexton Smith, District 4.