The Arlington, Tx., Police Department’s victim services unit the largest of its kind in North Texas, dwarfing its counterparts in Dallas and Ft. Worth, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. The Arlington unit consoles and advises people traumatized by everything from headline-grabbing murders to garage break-ins.
With 10 paid staffers, eight college interns — several from the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work — and three volunteers, it aided 13,043 people last year. Police spokeswoman Tiara Richard says it “does amazing, unsung work. It’s a very, very tough job, but they are good at it.” It was honored in 2009 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Coordinator Derrelynn Perryman, a licensed social worker, has been with the unit for 17 years. She views her team as a necessity, not an afterthought, for the Police Department: “I think [the public] should expect nothing less than what we do.”