KPD recruiting volunteers for Domestic Abuse Response Team

The Kirkland Police Department is recruiting volunteers to apply for their Domestic Abuse Response Team. The DART program is a partnership between local law enforcement and the community to address and prevent domestic violence.

Are you someone who enjoys helping others? Do other people tend to come to you with their problems? Then this position might be for you! We are seeking people who are patient, non-judgmental, have great communication skills, and can remain calm and focused in a crisis situation.

If that sounds like you, or if you know anyone who would be interested, please review the information attached. Training will be provided to ensure that you have all the tools necessary for this challenging position—no previous knowledge or experience required. Volunteers are needed weekday and weekend evenings, a minimum of 1 shift and 1 meeting per month, for a minimum of one year. Training will occur in early 2011, but recruitment starts now!

If you have any questions or are interested in applying, please call Julie Huffman at 425-587-3012 or e-mail jhuffman@ci.kirkland.wa.us.

Kirkland Police Department DART recruitment document:

THE KIRKLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT WANTS YOUR HELP!

The City of Kirkland seeks volunteers with a commitment to helping victims of domestic violence to join the Kirkland Police Department’s Domestic Abuse Response Team

The Domestic Abuse Response Team (D.A.R.T.) Program is a partnership between local law enforcement and the community to address and prevent domestic violence.

D.A.R.T. volunteers provide crisis intervention and support to victims of domestic violence after there has been police involvement, and assist them during the court process.

Primary responsibilities include: • Assisting the Advocate with follow-up phone calls to victims. • Assisting victims brought to the police station following a domestic violence incident. • On occasion, going to the home of the victim to provide support.

D.A.R.T. volunteers are trained to provide: • Emotional support • Information on the dynamics of domestic violence • Safety Planning • Assistance in locating emergency services • Information about the criminal justice system/process • Referrals to community support services

Volunteers are needed for weekday and weekend evenings. Volunteers are asked to commit to 1 shift and one meeting per month, for a minimum of 1 year. Prior to starting, volunteers are required to complete 25 hours of free training (scheduled for early 2010).

Actual volunteer work will not start until winter 2010, but recruitment starts now!

You must pass a background check including a C.V.S.A (similar to a polygraph) to be considered for this position.

INTERESTED?

Please contact Julie Huffman, Volunteer Services Coordinator at phone 425.587.3012 or email jhuffman@ci.kirkland.wa.us.

DART PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Kirkland Police Department Domestic Abuse Response Team Program is a partnership between local law enforcement and the community to address and prevent domestic violence. D.A.R.T. volunteers provide crisis intervention and support to domestic violence victims after there has been Police involvement, and assist them during the court process that follows by providing information, referrals, and resources.

1) Community volunteers provide crisis intervention to domestic violence victims following the domestic violence incident. The first hours after a domestic violence incident can be critical for victims of domestic violence. Volunteers with DART provide crisis intervention and support to victims of domestic violence in the time immediately following a domestic violence incident. If needed, the volunteer may assist the family to locate necessities such as shelter, food, and clothing and to create a safety plan. Additionally, DART volunteers provide information about community resources, the criminal justice system, and assist victims with filing protective orders.

Patrol officers may call DART to assist on any domestic violence call where they are making a police incident report, once the scene has been secured. Safety precautions are taken concerning scene safety for DART volunteers. Volunteers work with a partner and are equipped with a police radio and cell phone for communication with patrol officers in the field.

The volunteers report to the Kirkland Police Department on Friday and Saturday evenings between the hours of 7:00pm and 10:00pm, as well as during the week when they are available. This is the time when domestic violence calls are the greatest and when emergency resources can be most difficult to access. Volunteers work on their own making follow up phone calls (see below), while their team member is at home “on call”. Should the volunteer go out to a scene or meet with a victim at the station, the “on call” volunteer will be called in to assist.

2) Community volunteers assist the Kirkland Police Department's Family/Youth Advocate with victim/caseload follow-up. During the time that DART volunteers are not called out, volunteers assist by making follow up phone calls to victims whose partners have been charged with a crime. The volunteer explains the court system, discusses options for participation with prosecution, does extensive safety planning and referrals, and provides general support.

PROGRAM GOALS

 Domestic violence victims' safety needs are met because they obtained critical information and /or appropriate services after the incident. Victims feel supported and understood, gain knowledge of domestic violence and its effects, and are less likely to blame themselves for the abuse. Victims learn how to create safety plans for reducing risk of further abuse.  Patrol officers gain an added resource in handling domestic violence calls, freeing them to focus on the investigation, and other calls. The Family/Youth advocate gains an added resource in that victims are contacted outside of business hours, and more frequently.  The involvement of community volunteers benefits victims, volunteers, and police. The presence of community volunteers helps break isolation and make victims of domestic violence feel supported by the community. Community volunteers create a reliable and comprehensive support system for victims of domestic violence. The "team" works together with patrol officers, advocates and existing community resources to insure victims and their families are given every opportunity to succeed in their attempts to "break the cycle of violence."  Volunteers gain knowledge and understanding about domestic violence and the criminal justice system, crisis intervention skills, and the opportunity to help prevent domestic violence. The police department gains valuable involvement from the community to prevent domestic violence and to increase public safety.

VOLUNTEER TRAINING

DART volunteers receive approximately 25 hours of training, as well as a patrol officer ride along. New volunteer training topics include an orientation to the Kirkland Police Department, domestic violence laws, the criminal justice system, community resources, safety planning, radio usage, crisis intervention procedures, the effects of domestic violence on children, etc.

Monthly meetings are scheduled to provide an opportunity for DART volunteers to debrief, discuss past events, and to obtain continuing education and training. Monthly meetings are currently the second Tuesday of the month, from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

VOLUNTEER COMMITMENT AND REQUIREMENTS

DART volunteers must commit to serving two shifts per month, for a minimum of 1 year. Additionally, volunteers must complete an approximately 25 hour training and attend monthly meetings. Volunteer must have a valid Washington State Driver's License, be an insurable driver, be 21 years of age or older, and pass a Kirkland Police Department background check, which does include a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer test—similar to a polygraph exam. This additional background check is because Police department volunteers have access to very sensitive information.

Other desired qualities are:

 Commitment to assisting victims and families of domestic violence  Strong listening and problem solving skills  Knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence or related crisis intervention issues (Chemical dependency, sexual assault, mental health, working with children, etc.)  Prior social work experience preferred  Bilingual candidates encouraged to apply  Ability to work independently

APPLICATION PROCESS

 The volunteer candidate completes the online on-going volunteer application (www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/volunteer/) and meets with Julie Huffman, the Volunteer Services Coordinator, and Christelle Lentz, Advocate, for an interview.  After the initial interview, if it is determined that the DART program is an appropriate fit for the volunteer applicant, a reference check is done.  Upon the satisfactory completion of the reference check, the DART candidate's application is forwarded to Police Department personnel and a second interview may be scheduled. A background and Computer Voice Stress Analyzer or truth test is then done.  The volunteer is notified by telephone or mail of acceptance. The volunteer would then be scheduled for the training (anticipated to be in early 2010), as well as additional training by other team members “on the job”.