GRPD social worker helps victims cope after crime

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Amid an increase in violent crime this year, the Grand Rapids Police Department wants victims of trauma to know help is available.

“We want to make sure that those people don’t feel like the system let them down or that they’re any less important,” GRPD Sgt. Dan Adams said.

Nearly 1,000 victims have reached out to GRPD since June 1 hoping to find some peace.

“The biggest thing is making sure that we’re filling all the gaps and providing services to anyone and everyone that needs them,” Adams said.

Four months ago, the department launched its Victim Services Program, hiring social worker Clorissa Novak with the sole purpose of helping victims and their families.

“Whatever it is, she’s there to help guide them through that process to make sure that they feel like they’re not alone and to make sure they don’t feel any revictimization from having to go through the process,” Adams said.

Adams said most of Novak’s inquiries have been about just helping people grieve. Sjhe also provides counseling and helps people find resources like financial help or even housing.

“It’s someone to help guide them and walk them through that whole process,” Adams said.

If someone is nervous about reaching out, Adams says not to worry.

“There’s no obligation to cooperate or participate in the investigation regardless of how the case goes. We just want to make sure everyone gets the services they need,” Adams said.

If you’re interested in the Victim Services Program, you can call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.3400.