Victim Services is a unit of the Waco Police Department. It is currently staffed with a Director of Victim Services, Melissa Beseda, Volunteer Coordinator, Tami Parsons and a Crime Victims Compensation Specialist, Melissa Sparks. The unit provides on-scene crisis intervention, death notifications, victim education, emotional support, follow-up contact, assistance with Crime Victims Compensation, referral services and other pertinent victim needs.
In order to meet the extensive needs of our growing community and to provide a 24-7 service to crime victims, the unit relies heavily on volunteers that consist of community members wanting to actively make a difference in Victims lives. These are exceptional individuals who are not only interested in their own personal growth through both formal and experiential learning, but they are also willing to share their time, talents and insights in order to assist others. Our volunteers attend a Victim Services academy that is held 2-3 times annually at the police department, lasts 4 weeks and is approximately 35 hours of in-class training. During the training they are trained by several units within the police department to include topics on death notifications, homicide, suicide, sexual assault, family violence, crime scene, and crisis intervention. Classroom instruction prepares those that wish to volunteer with the basic knowledge to guide victims through the beginning stages of the Criminal Justice process.
Various times are available, with 4 shifts required per month with attendance at quarterly in-service meetings. Internships are available. Interns are required to attend the training academy and can acquire most of the required hours through hands on experiences.
A background check is required for all applicants, which includes criminal history, employee background and references. Individuals interested in applying for a position as a Volunteer for the Victim Services Unit should contact:
Director of Victim Services
Crime Victim Compensation Specialist