Shakopee police earn international leadership award in victim services

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has awarded the Shakopee Police Department its 2018 Leadership in Victim Services Award for small agencies (50 officers or fewer). This prestigious award honors departments that best exemplify an organizational philosophy of placing victims at the center of their problem-solving efforts, utilizing effective partnerships and employing training methods and performance monitoring tools to enhance law enforcement’s response to victims of crime.

“We are honored to be recognized once again by the International Association of Chiefs of Police,” said Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate. The Shakopee Police Department received IACP’s Excellence in Community Policing Award in 2015. “This award is a testament to the excellent work of our victim and community services coordinator and our exceptional department staff.”

Improving victim services has been an ongoing effort of the department. In 2015, the department added a full-time position – victim and community services coordinator – dedicated to assisting victims of crime, not just for domestic violence and sexual assault, but also theft, identity theft, fraud, scams and homicides. At the time, the position was unique for departments Shakopee’s size, especially as it is fully funded by the City of Shakopee and not reliant on any grant dollars.

“Our Victim and Community Services Coordinator Barb Hedstrom has done a phenomenal job serving as a resource for crime victims and acting as a liaison between victims, the police and criminal justice system,” Tate said. “Her work extends beyond our department as she is active in the community and has built numerous partnerships with residents, businesses and community organizations.”

Shakopee’s victim services program is an essential part of the department's everyday practices, Tate said. All police officers receive education on victim rights, services and resources, so they are better trained in helping victims.

“Ensuring our department is victim-centered is the responsibility of all our staff,” Tate said. “This award is truly an honor and evidence of our department’s commitment to serving this community with integrity and professionalism.”

The Shakopee Police Department has 48 sworn officers and 13 support staff serving a growing population of 41,000 residents. The department will be recognized at the IACP annual conference Oct. 9 in Orlando, Fla.