BELL COUNTY, TX - We've reported on at least a dozen violent crimes in Bell County since the beginning of this year.
Now a couple of local organizations are teaming up to help victims involved, yet they need the public's help to better meet the need.
There's a growing need for crisis assistance in Bell County. Aware Central Texas is an organization working directly with victims of crime in the area.
"They are going through one of the worst moments in their life, and we get to step in and walk alongside them as they find resources and start a new chapter in their lives," says Executive Director Misty Biddick said.
For the first time ever, the organization is teaming up with Temple and Killeen Police to host a joint crisis assistance program. Biddick says this is all in an effort to better serve victims.
"We work together closely with all the law enforcement agencies to include Belton, Killeen and Temple. We thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to train those volunteers to work at any three of our agencies," Biddick said.
Yet with collaboration comes a greater need for volunteers.
"The more volunteers we have, the better suited we may be to help the victims of crisis. We never know when we may have an influx of need. This would provide us with an opportunity to spread the volunteers out. Maybe not have them working 24/7 because things are happening," says Ellen Morton, of Temple Police.
Volunteers will have the chance to help provide whatever service they choose.
"They can help in different capacities. One is immediate crisis support - it might be notification of a crime victim's rights, assistance in obtaining a safe shelter, safety planning, assistance with crime victims compensation, applications for financial assistance, that sort of thing," Morton said.
The Bell County Crisis Assistance Program will be accepting applications until March 30. The first training academy will be at the start of May.
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