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 Victim’s Compensation Specialist, Melissa Sparks. This program was developed in order to serve the needs of victims/witnesses and their families. Our primary function is to provide on-scene crisis intervention. Staff is on-call 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. The unit provides on-scene crisis intervention, death notifications, victim education, follow-up contact, assistance with Crime Victims' Compensation and Victim Impact statements, criminal justice advocacy, legal advocacy, court accompaniment, and assessment and referral services, as well as other pertinent victim needs.
In order to meet the extensive needs of our community with such a small staff, we utilize specially trained volunteers. Volunteer Crisis Teams work various shifts 7 days a week. These teams respond to a wide range of calls such as: homicide, suicide, accidental death, robbery, sexual assault, family violence, as well as others. Volunteers are trained to assist with death notifications, provide crisis intervention and education, and other relevant services. We currently have 30 qualified Crisis Team volunteers.
Victim Services volunteers are required to successfully complete approximately 35 hours of classroom instruction, which includes 2 patrol ride-along observations. Classroom instruction includes topics such as: death and dying, death notifications, homicide, suicide, sexual assault, crisis intervention strategies, victim issues, as well as a wide range of other topics. In order to qualify for graduation, volunteers are also required to perform successfully in a role-play examination.(delete) The Victim Services Crisis Team Training Academy is 4 weeks long.
Waco Police Department Victim Services volunteers are highly trained and committed to assisting and serving members of their community whose lives have been touched by a tragic event. 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 help others.
The Waco Police Department Crisis Team Training Academy is held periodically through the year as needed. A background check is required for all applicants, which includes criminal history, employee background, and references. Individuals who pass the screening will be interviewed, and the top applicants will then be invited to attend the 4-week training academy.
Individuals interested in applying for a position as a Volunteer Crisis Team Member should contact:
Director of Victim Services
Crime Victim’s Compensation Specialist