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Hillsborough County Sheriff Launches ‘Victim Specialist Unit’

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office today announced a Victims Specialist Unit.

“Sheriff Chad Chronister is pleased to announce a continuation of that effort with the creation of the Victim Specialist Unit,” said HCSO in a statement.

In 2020, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office applied for and received a federal grant to hire three, full-time Victim Specialists who will provide assistance and support to victims and witnesses of serious crimes.

The Victim Specialist Unit aims to be the first source of help to victims of crime. These new advocates will initially respond primarily to help victims of sexual batteries, families of homicide victims, and witnesses of serious crimes.

“Our goal is to provide the best possible service to those in need,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “We’ve found many times that victims are dealing with trauma while trying to navigate what resources are available to help. Our advocates can help bridge the gap, and get them the help they need faster and easier than if they were doing it alone.”

Victim Specialists can assist victims and witnesses with an array of services to include:

  • counseling victims and witnesses on their legal rights
  • providing case management assistance
  • arranging accommodations for meetings and court hearings
  • serving as a point of contact between victims and criminal justice entities
  • fostering cooperation between law enforcement, prosecutors, and victims

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a crime, please call HCSO at (813)247-8200.

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