The Las Cruces Police Department Victim Assistance Program was established in September 1993 under the VOCA (Victims' of Crime Act) Grant. It was the first police-based victim assistance program in the State of New Mexico. It was considered a pilot program until 1997 when it became a model for the state.
In 1998 the Victims' Assistance Program was integrated with the Las Cruces Police Department and became known as the Victims’ Assistance Unit. Over the years Victims' Assistance continued to grow and, in 2005, received funding from both VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) and the City of Las Cruces to build the offices that the unit is presently housed in.
The mission of the Las Cruces Police Department Victims’ Assistance Unit is to provide the community residents with:
- An array of comprehensive services as needed;
- Collaboration with other community agencies;
- Provide victims of crime with crisis intervention at the time the call for assistance to a police officer occurs;
- Financial assistance through the New Mexico Crime Victim’s Reparation Commission; and
- Guidance through the steps of the Criminal Justice System.
The Las Cruces Police Department Victim Assistance Unit will concentrate on victims of felony offenses that are non-prosecutorial and misdemeanor cases. Cases being prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office are handled by their Victim Advocates. Victims of these crimes will be provided with: crisis intervention through the Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) at the time the call for assistance by a police officer occurs; financial assistance through the New Mexico Crime Victim's Reparation Commission; services as needed through collaboration with other community agencies; and guidance through the steps of the Criminal Justice System.
The Victims’ Assistance Unit is supervised by Judith Baca.
The main office for the Victims' Assistance Unit is located at the Las Cruces Police Department, 217 E. Picacho Ave. Contact the main office by phone at (575) 528-4111. The Victims’ Assistance Unit also maintains a satellite office that is located at 906 N. Tornillo St. To contact the satellite office by phone call (575) 528-4265.
Residents interested in the services provided by the Victims’ Assistance Unit, or inquiring about volunteer assignments, can contact the unit via e-mail or by phone.
For offender status or release information please visit Victim Information Notification Everyday.
If the offender is in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, victims will need to register separately with the Department of Homeland Security's ICE Victim Notification Program.