Roscommon Sheriff Victims Services Unit
The Roscommon County Victim Services Unit is available to provide short term comfort and compassionate assistance by giving direction to victims and or survivors of a catastrophic crisis or incident, and when appropriate, to act as a liaison between the victim/survivor and law enforcement officers.
Crime Victim's Right Act
in 1988 The Crime Victims Right Act, passed in 1985, became Article 1, Section 24 of the Michigan State Constitution. The National Sheriffs' Association and The Michigan Sheriffs' Association have taken a leading role in the issue of Victim/Witness rights. The establishment of Victims Services Units within individual county Sheriffs' Offices in the State of Michigan was the direct result of the Michigan Sheriffs' Association.
The duties of each Victims Services Unit vary slightly, but are defined to meet the needs of each individual county. In Roscommon County the primary goal of our Advocates is to provide short term crisis intervention; to help both the victim/survivor and the law enforcement officers during the initial stages of life changing events when tragic news is experienced or delivered.
The Victims Services Unit volunteers, known as Advocates, provide caring services in a professional and confidential manner to al victims equally. Victim Advocates are caring, compassionate volunteers recruited from within Roscommon County.
Advocates represent a broad cross-section of the population. Many have experienced some manner of tragedy in their own lives and have a deep seated desire to help others.
The Victim Services Unit is trained and certified by the Michigan Sheriffs' Association and directed by the Roscommon County Sheriff's Office in order to provide short them crisis intervention to victims and their families.
The unit has ongoing training which covers many subjects such as:
- Five Stages of Grief
- Law Enforcement Protocols
- Effective Communication Techniques
- Rights of Victims in the Criminal Justice System
Advocates are also provided with other state and local resources.
- Liaison with family & friends
- Supply information about funeral arrangements
- Counseling services for adults and children
- Assisting with local resources
When requested by Central Dispatch, a team of two Advocates arrives on the scene to provide comfort and assistance to those struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one or the aftermath of a fire, accident, or crime.
Advocates make it possible for law enforcement and rescue units to do their job knowing that a family has someone there to address their needs and concern until their own support system is in place.
Advocates assist by notifying family and friends when requested, supplying information about funeral arrangements. counseling services for adults and children, and local resources available to help in the coming weeks.
Other Outreach Opportunities
VSU Advocates have opportunities to outreach into the community in many other ways including:
- National Night Out Against Crime
- Fireman's Memorial Festival
- Bluegill Festival Family Night
- Senior Citizen Christmas Basket Program
- Shop with a Hero
- Annual VSU golf outing