Victim Advocate Unit's History 

    The Belton Police Department has a proactive policy in regards to violence against women. In 1990, the department increased its emphasis on crisis intervention to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  The Victim Services Unit was established using a college student doing an internship in exchange for credit hours and a grade.  Using students  prove to be satisfactory for the short term, but required extensive amounts of time, effort, and expense in repeated training every semester. In 1991, a retired social worker began volunteering for the Victim Services Unit and helped to provide the needed consistency.

    A safe house was established in 1992 using a motel. A cooperative effort with Hope House of Independence was formed to provide assistance with counseling and group therapy sessions. Hope Haven of Cass County opened in 1996 and a cooperative effort was established with them to provide services that are needed by victims of domestic violence.

    The Belton Police Department currently has one full time victim advocate and one part time advocate who work during normal business hours.  They, along with the assistance of an on-call volunteer, work on domestic violence cases and sexual assaults.   

    Due to the steady reports of these types of crime, a need remains for services provided by the Victim Services Unit.  These services include crisis intervention, emergency shelter, transportation, court and hospital advocacy, information, referrals, and emergency ex partes.  We are currently adding additional volunteers so that we may better meet the needs of our clients.