Paterson will use $450,000 federal grant to start crime victims assistant program | Paterson Times

Paterson will use $450,000 federal grant to start crime victims assistant program


Municipal officials have received a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to start a crime victims assistant program at the Paterson Police Department.

Funds will be used to hire a full-time victim witness advocate and a part-time assistant. Their mission will be to support victims through the justice process and provide social service referrals.

Victims of assault, sexual assault, domestic violence, and other crimes can rely on the victim witness advocate for advice, resources, and even accompaniment to court, said officials.

“You’re really traumatized after one of these crimes. You’re overwhelmed, and you need someone to give you guidance,” said mayor Andre Sayegh outside the Frank X. Graves Public Safety Complex in announcing the program. He pointed out Paterson is the sole municipality in New Jersey to receive the grant.

The victim witness advocate could connect the victims with temporary housing, advice on navigating the criminal justice system, referral for childcare and elder care, security services, medical services, and emergency transportation.

“Survivors of domestic violence are left without housing, a job, a trusted confidant — they desperately need help and support,” added congressman Bill Pascrell. He said many domestic violence complaints are withdrawn because the victim is afraid.

Public safety director Jerry Speziale said the staff for the program will likely be hired in two months. He said the victim witness advocate will be paid $70,000 and the part-time assistant will be paid $18 an hour for 20 hours a week. He said grant will cover the program’s expenses for three years.

Speziale said the staff will have a “fluid schedule.” He said the Paterson program will supplement the services provided by Office of Victim Advocacy at the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.

The victim witness advocate will collaborate with Joan Nixon, coordinator for the Office of Victim Advocacy at the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office. Office of Victim Advocacy provides services primarily in cases where prosecution is pending or anticipate at the Passaic County Superior Court. It does not serve victims who are involved in cases at the municipal court. Paterson’s crime victims assistant program will be able to assist victims in cases that are in the municipal court.

“We can drastically benefit from having somebody who’s dedicated to members of our community here in the city of Paterson,” said police sergeant Todd Pearl.

Assisting the victims also increases the likelihood of cooperation from them in prosecuting the perpetrators.

“These are the programs that are working, and we want to be part of that. [It’s] cutting edge,” said Speziale. He said the Passaic County program has been “extremely” successful. “This grant is really about building trust and legitimacy with the victims and the community that we serve.”

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  • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

    Translation : More bullshit sinecure jobs for the relatives and cronies of the crooks in charge lol. Just ask that scumbag Pascrell his son has 4 of them.

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/YXNpZADpBWEY2Qm0zTkVhRW1ENjFEOVVlNGlQVGVFMGlJRkRNVjY1YjR3UGNqQ1BsSlFWaHI5bE1pLTQ3QWNCdE1ieUY5UDgwck1PbTBvRVFISTR4WncwMFJaOWlwTUVidWp5SW5YbkpfQXQ1T2dSYwZDZD/ Samuel Torres

    What a joke the money can be used for restitution for the victims. Not for salary.Most crimes are handled in the County level. Disorderly persons and petty disorderly offense are in the municipal level. Offender gets a slap in the hand. Most of the time the offense goes unreported.

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    This is a joke.There are plenty of programs for domestic violence victims to go to,for safety. Many choose not to go and keep returning to their abusers,costing us money every time they go through the system.The money would be better spent teaching them to avoid toxic humans and relationships,saving us money in the end. As far as pointing people for help with temporary housing,etc, good luck with that- social services doesn't help the people who need help. So how is this grant helping? It's only helping friends of the system get a good paying job, doing little to nothing, while victims get little to no help.Just more waste of tax payer$. Where is the "i don't approve,do not use my taxes for this crap" form?

    • Lueminattibenz

      Mic drop amen brother another friend of the family getting high paying job that's all bill pascrell is a disgrace to life period

  • Lueminattibenz

    All the voters in Paterson are Dominicans you tube bill pascrell Dominican parade Paterson nj they love their master in Paterson Trump2020 Puerto Rican latino for trump