Millsboro gives go-ahead for victim services specialist position

MILLSBORO — A federally funded/local match civilian position that provides services for victims of crimes could augment the forces of the Millsboro Police Department as early as July.

With town council’s approval May 6, posting for the $40,000 victim services specialist position began May 7.

“The applications are streaming in,” said Millsboro Police Chief Brian Calloway. “My hope is their very first day would be July 5, which is a Friday. Their first day would consist of a ride-along with one of our officers to get a better understanding or what our police officers do.”

Millsboro’s interest in pursuing this position began in January after Chief Calloway noticed a posting by the Criminal Justice Council through the Victims of Crime Act Assistance Program.

This position runs for two years. The town’s first-year match would be approximately $14,000 and slightly less the second year, around $13,000, Chief Calloway said.

The victim services specialist would be responsible for helping to obtain support services from other agencies for victims of criminal acts. Job tasks include:

Brian Calloway

• interview victims and/or families of victims of crimes to determine needed assistance and make referrals to agencies/resources.;

• perform follow-up contact to victims and/or families either in person, via telephone or through written correspondence;

• write reports to summarize cases and maintain database files of all case contacts and to provide information, referral services of crisis intervention;

• provide outreach services to the community by presenting awareness programs to various civic organizations. Also provide appropriate training to outside agencies as well as to law enforcement;

• provide victim assistance by accompanying persons to court and hospitals;

• assist criminal detectives and police officers in assisting victims and/or families at crime scenes or accidents; and

• availability to provide after hour “on call” duties with co-workers. Respond to 800-line hotline calls or to crime/accident scenes when needed on a 24-hour basis.

Minimum qualifications include an associate degree in psychology/social work or related field and/or two years of experience with direct interaction with the public, preferably in the law.

Chief Calloway emphasizes that the victim services specialist will assist victims of “any type of crime, whether it is a misdemeanor or a serious case, or even for helping with family needs when it comes to death notifications, and things of that nature.”

“As law enforcement, sometimes that is where we fall short — just really working for our victims. That is what we want to be able to do,” said Chief Calloway.

With this position, Millsboro will join neighboring Georgetown, which since December 2015 has had a victim services specialist advocate in Mayra Reyes.

The posting date for the Millsboro position ends May 21, followed by application review and the interview process.

“One of the things I have learned with these grants is this is designed for someone who is going to work hard,” said Chief Calloway. “Everything that you do, including phone calls, reading reports … better be documented.”

Millsboro council’s unanimous support included approval of a modified motion to include a stipulation recommended by Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson that the person hired as victim services specialist sign a letter, acknowledging they are aware the program is federally funded and “there is no guarantee of future employment if and when the federal funds run out.”

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