‘Outreach Project for Victims of Crime’ helps get their lives back on track

Nashville is a gem, filled with many great things and moving parts. Add the hidden gems within the gem of this progressive and ever growing city and that makes it all the more amazing. One of the finer gems is the North Nashville Advocacy & Outreach Project for Victims of Crime—also known as the ‘VIP Program’ (MNPD’s Victim Intervention Program). MNPD stands for Metro North Police Department and clients really are treated as VIPs.

The project offers free resources, services and outreach to crime victims who are residents of North Nashville. Those services include, but are not limited to, help with housing, utility bills, legal advocacy, food, counseling services, and connection with Tennessee criminal injury compensation.

Clients who seek the help of this program enter with different needs and circumstances leading them there. Participation in the VIP Program is strictly confidential and handled in a professional almost seamless manner.

Professional, credentialed counselors and advocates are caring and sensitive to each client’s needs. The program is almost a best-kept secret to some and always a life raft of hope to those in need. Those who man the program are not police officers.

They work closely with agencies, the local police and any other law enforcement necessary on their client’s behalf.

The process of speaking up can be grueling and even embarrassing for the crime victim. For some it may be hard to come forth. Many lives have been torn apart and displaced due to domestic violence and sex related crimes.

After such awful crimes, these compassionate people report to work daily giving their all to help restore the damages. They are only interested in putting the victim’s lives back together. Once in this program, the client can expect a ‘no judging zone.’ They can also look forward to being addressed and treated with the utmost respect. Funding for this program stems from a variety of credible sources in Tennessee.

Programs such as this one should be in all precincts of the Metro Police Department because crime and victimization is everywhere. Maybe one day it will be. However, now it’s good to know that this one exists. The VIP Program is most certainly something of which Nashville’s Mayor Megan Barry; MNPD Chief of Police Stan Anderson, the 9th Precinct commander; and Terrance Graves and the other officers that work in this sector are very proud.

To shed light on something so positive and genuinely helpful to the community at large is an honor and not taken lightly—especially with the level of negativity that is being shared about the police departments’ alleged bad acts in the media.

Just knowing about this program and sharing the ray of hope with others is a deed well done. Hopefully it will reach someone in need of its services and be that change agent necessary for greatness.

Looking at this invaluable program as the silver lining of a dark cloud or the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow are perfect analogies.

If you are or know of a person residing in the 9th Precinct of North Nashville area in need of VIP Program services, remember that all calls and cases are confidential and there to help put the pieces of lives back together. Confidentiality and anonymity are respected, not taken for granted and handled professionally from entry to exit.

For more information, call 615-862-7773