Victim Services Unit
Violent crime has the potential to change the course of a person’s life. Crime impacts victims, witnesses, families, and entire communities. The Victim Services Unit (VSU) of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) was established in order to ensure the fair, compassionate, and sensitive treatment of victims and witnesses of crime. The VSU supports crime victims and witnesses by helping them to navigate the criminal justice system and by responding to their emotional, physical, and financial needs. The LMPD guarantees that victims and witnesses of crime are treated with respect and dignity and afforded rights and services designed to address the specifics of their victimization. These free services are available to help victims cope with the trauma and the aftermath of victimization and to lessen the inconveniences often associated with participation in the criminal justice process.
Victims of the following crimes are eligible to receive services:
- Child Physical and Sexual Abuse
- Criminal Traffic Incidents that Result in Death or Serious Physical Injury
- Domestic Violence
- Elder Abuse
- Human Trafficking
- Sexual Assault
What services does the Victim Services Unit provide?
- Initial in‐person or telephone contact explaining victim services
- Crisis intervention and support
- Information on victims’ rights and services
- Safety planning
- Explanation of the protective order process and the criminal justice/court process
- Court accompaniment to civil and criminal proceedings in order to provide the victim with support
- Resources and referrals – emergency services, counseling, etc.
- Investigative updates
- Transportation assistance
- Emergency shelter
- VINELink/Advance notification of release
- Assistance with filing victim compensation claims
- Coordination of interpreter/translation services
- Intervention with employers, academic institutions, creditors, service providers and landlords
Crime victims and witnesses have certain rights under Kentucky’s Crime Victim Bill of Rights (KRS 421.500-575). These rights include:
- Victim/witness protection
- Financial assistance
- Victim input
- Courtroom assistance
This information is intended to ensure that victims and witnesses of crime are informed of their rights and treated with dignity, fairness and respect. These rights keep victims and witnesses informed of emergency, protective, social, and medical services, crime victim compensation, community treatment programs and the criminal justice process. These rights also ensure that victims and witnesses are present and heard at critical stages of the criminal justice process.
Not all rights and services are applicable in every case.
What is VINE? – Victim Information and Notification Everyday
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) is a toll-free, 24-hour, anonymous, computer-based telephone and email service that provides victims of crime two important features, information and notification. The VINE service provides information by phone, email, TTY and text message, where available. A victim may register for notification on their website or by calling the state of Kentucky’s toll-free number (800-511-1670). VINE notifies victims when an inmate (local or state) is released, transferred, or escapes and if the inmate is parole eligible. VINE can also be used as a means of tracking a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) or an Interpersonal Protective Order (IPO).