FBI, This Week: Victim Services Response Team
August 8, 2019
The FBI is expanding its Victim Services Response Team—a specially trained group that deploys to mass casualty and terrorism events to assist victims.
Mollie Halpern: The FBI is expanding its Victim Services Response Team—a specially trained group that deploys to mass casualty and terrorism events to assist victims.
Assistant Director of the Victim Services Division Kathryn Turman says while most of the members are victim specialists who provide emotional and crisis intervention needs, the team has become multi-disciplinary.
Kathryn Turman: So we have victim services providers but we also added agents and analysts and experts in evidence recovery and people who can help with victim lists and logistics for victims and all those things. So we have a much more robust team, we’ve got over 70 people. We probably need to expand again.
Halpern: FBI employees go through a rigorous selection process to become members of the Victim Services Response Team and serve a three-year term.
Two crisis response canines, Wally and Gio, who are trained to provide victim support, are also part of the team.
In addition to immediate assistance, the FBI also provides long-term support to victims and their families.
Turman: Our responsibilities to provide access to their rights as crime victims and access to services and information about the case lasts as long as we have an open investigation. So that can be weeks, months, or many years and decades, in some cases.
Halpern: The Victim Services Response Team has deployed to nearly every mass casualty and terrorism incident since it was created in 2005. I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau with FBI, This Week.
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