The Manistee County Sheriff’s Office Victim Services Unit formed in April of 2006. The unit consists of dedicated volunteers who are trained to respond to crisis situations, and to provide emotional support and information to the victims.
Each advocate must complete a 16-hour training provided through the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. Advocates meet regularly, and attend additional training on a volunteer basis.
Direct Service Responsibilities
- Respond immediately to requests for victim assistance from law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, or victims by attending on-site or an alternate safe premise.
- Provide emotional support and practical assistance, including information that will help to lessen the impact of the crisis for the victim.
- Help the victim understand the information they just received from police, fire, medical, etc.
- Act as a liaison between law enforcement and the victim.
- Assure victim of confidentiality.
- Provide practical assistance as needed. This may include making arrangements for shelter, making phone calls as required, or assisting the victim per their request.
- Stay with the victim until his or her own support system arrives.
- Give the victims contacts to use for any long-term care needed.
Victim Service Volunteers should:
- Be mature
- Be responsible
- Have good communication skills
- Have the ability or experience to deal with crisis situations
- Have knowledge of community resources
- Have transportation
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please complete and submit the Victim Services Volunteer Application (PDF).