Victims and Witnesses Of Crime
Whether you are a crime Victim or Witness, it can be a traumatic experience. This web page is designed to help reduce that trauma. It contains information on how the Police Department investigates crime and how our court system works. We have included a list of agencies which can help you deal with any problems you may have.
YOUR COOPERATION IS VITAL!!!
It is the responsibility of the Police Department to conduct thorough investigations and bring offenders before the courts. Your cooperation and information may well ensure that an offender will not repeat his or her crime. Consequently, it is vital that as a victim or witness of a crime, you contact the police at the earliest opportunity. Police officers will be sensitive and sympathetic to your situation. They can also direct you to organizations, which can assist you.
NORMAL PROCEDURES DURING AN INVESTIGATION
The investigation of a crime begins immediately after it has been reported.
Police must act quickly to gather information and identify important details in order to apprehend the offender(s). It is therefore necessary that police officers ask you questions about the crime. Some questions may be difficult or awkward to answer. Remember, though, police officers are human too-they may also feel uncomfortable in asking certain personal questions.
Other questions may seem irrelevant, but they may prove to be vital in helping police detect a pattern in similar crimes. If you feel that something is important and has been overlooked, please DO NOT HESITATE to tell the investigating officer. For your own record, be sure to make a note of the police officer's name, rank, number, and division.
INTERVIEWING VICTIMS AND WITNESSES
This can be done either at the scene of the crime or at the Police Department, whichever is most appropriate under the circumstances. Victims of sexual abuse and child abuse are interviewed by police officers who are experienced in this type of investigation.
EXAMINATION OF THE CRIME SCENE AND/OR OTHER SCENES CONNECTED WITH THE CRIME
Avoid disturbing the scene of a crime. There may be important evidence which the police can find through close examination. It may be necessary for the police to remove and keep items of property or documents from you, your home or business, as evidence or for identification purposes. These items may be required later for production in an actual court trial. This could mean that your property may be in police possession for a considerable length of time (until after the completion of the trial). Every effort will be made to have it returned to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the police officer in charge of Victim/Witness Rights.
IF YOU WITNESS A CRIME
This might be your first encounter with the judicial system. You may be nervous or upset because you are uncertain what to expect. The Victim/Witness Coordinator will explain the procedure to you and keep in contact with you.
The police officer will issue a subpoena for the victim and any witnesses.
YOUR COURT APPEARANCE
It is very important to dress properly for your court appearance. A clean and neat appearance is always to your benefit. Please do not wear hats/caps, shorts, T-shirts, etc. A dress shirt and slacks would be nice. A suit for men and a nice dress for women is preferred.
The Kingsport Police Department's mission is to protect and serve. We are here to provide a service to you and to insure your personal safety. Our no tolerance attitude toward crimes against persons is meant to provide a safe environment for everyone. If you have become a victim, we will make every effort to solve the crime, apprehend the suspect, and be there with you throughout the court process.
If you are threatened or intimidated by a suspect (or by the suspect's family and/or friends), call the Police Department at 423-246-9111. If it is an immediate emergency dial 911. Afterwards contact the investigator assigned to your case and the victim advocate assigned to your case.(A.S. Chapter 51)
Important Contact Numbers and Websites for Victims/Witnesses:
**Victims can also keep up with there offenders by visiting Vinelink website. This website allows Victims to check and see if the offender is still in jail and also allows victims to sign up for notification if the offenders status changes.