TOPEKA, Kan. - The Topeka Police Department Crime Victims’ Assistance Unit is pleased to announce it has received a donation from CD Tradepost to better enhance the experience of older child victims and witnesses, and children whose parents are victims, who need to come to the department.
Several years ago, the Crime Victims’ Assistance Unit began receiving donations from area merchants to improve an Interview Room which is dedicated to families. At that time, CVAU received donations of TV, DVD player, movies, coloring books and games.
However, most of the items received were geared towards children age seven years and younger and there was little for older children to do while they were here.
In an effort to make the stay of older children more pleasant, the Crime Victims’ Assistance Unit is excited to announce that CD Tradepost donated a GameCube system and games to go in this room.
“This donation is very important to the department and to those we serve,” Dawn Maendele, Victims’ Assistance Unit Coordinator, said. “The game system will give older child victims a distraction from what they’re in the police station for and hopefully make their time here more pleasant.”
The Crime Victims’ Assistance Unit, which launched in October 2002, provides victims of crime with timely advocacy, information and referrals to services that may be needed as a result of their victimization.
Since its inception, the unit has assisted more than 7,750 victims of crime. A majority of crime victims are associated with property crime such as burglary, theft, and criminal damage; the remainder are abuse-related, juvenile-related and violent crime-related. There does not have to be a suspect charged with a crime in order for the victim to receive assistance. The unit does not provide financial assistance to victims.
The Crime Victims’ Assistance program:
Acts as a liaison between the victim and the officer;
Speaks with victims at the request of officers;
Assists detectives in locating owners of recovered property;
Accompanies victims to court to assist with obtaining restraining and stalking orders;
Collects used cell phones that can be refurbished for the Battered Women Task Force;
Assists victims with information on applications for the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board;
Refers victims to organizations providing utility assistance, food, and clothing, which can ease the financial strain of being a victim;
Attends local activities to educate the public on the crimes that occur within the community and how CVAU can help.