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  • Writer's pictureCharles G. Irion

City of Phoenix - Phoenix Police Unveils Newly Renovated Victim Center





Phoenix Police Unveils Newly Renovated Victim Center

APRIL 15, 2024 12:30 PM


​After nearly four years, the newly renovated Victim Center was unveiled Thursday at the Phoenix Family Advocacy Center.


The Victim Center is the home base of the Phoenix Police Department's Family Investigations Bureau where detectives, nurses and victim advocates investigate sexual and domestic violence cases as well as interview victims, some of whom may be reporting crimes for the first time. The center first opened in 1999 and last renovations happened more than 10 years ago.


In collaboration with the Phoenix Police Foundation, the City of Phoenix was able to fund a significant renovation of the center through a public-private partnership.

The new center now has private waiting rooms that can accommodate families and children, warmer interview rooms and enhanced privacy measures.


"Anyone that comes through these doors is having a really terrible day," said Phoenix Police Commander Sara Garza, “so whatever we can do here to make sure that we're doing everything that we can to make it less terrible is our goal."

In 2023, Phoenix PD received just under 34,000 calls for service involving domestic violence and investigated just over 800 sexual assault cases. For those victims, having a warm, comfortable and safe environment is crucial.


"These victims had a very tiny waiting room, so they had no privacy," Garza said. “So, if you were reporting something and we had another victim waiting for, let's say, a nurse's exam or a detective interview, they might be sitting together, and victims always value privacy, especially during these sensitive investigations."


“It's crucial for a victim to come into a space that is comfortable and a safe place," said Debbie Valenzuela, a victim advocate with the City of Phoenix Victim Services. “It's not just a big deal for us as advocates and detectives, but also the nurses. But it's big on the victims knowing that they are here in a nice, comfortable place, will welcome them when working with victims of sexual and domestic violence."


The new design will provide a comfortable setting that respects the privacy and needs of victims during their most challenging times.


"This is going to make an environment for somebody that's really having a horrible day into something that is a little bit more pleasant, allows the detectives to do their jobs, allows people to report their crimes and feel more comfortable doing so," said President of the Phoenix Police Foundation Tim Thomas.


"I hope that all victims that come through the center leave with their dignity and their respect intact," said Garza, “that they have trust in the police and our victim advocates and the whole system, that we will give it the best chance towards justice for them and they leave as a whole person."

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