New CrimeStoppers partnership expands sexual assault response training

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2022 at 11:06 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Central Alabama CrimeStoppers is partnering with the Alabama Collation Against Rape to train officers on how to better respond to sexual assault victims.

The Alabama Collation Against Rape has been providing training to police departments since 2001. Thanks to a grant from the Stop Violence Against Women Act, they’re now able to expand that training.

Kathleen Connolly, deputy director of the Alabama Collation Against Rape, says they want to make sure that law enforcement officers are well-trained but also well able to connect victims and survivors with health resources.

Tony Garrett, executive director of CrimeStoppers, says the training just makes sense.

“It makes sense for us when we’re talking to law enforcement agencies that they know where their crisis centers are, they know who a contact person is, and they know how to use those resources that are there,” said Garrett.

Officers will learn how to better collect evidence, file reports and conduct investigations.

They’ll also learn the best ways to attend to sexual assault victims while also looking out for their own mental well-being.

“Police take on a ton of trauma and that can be really damaging for them, and we want to keep our police officers both mentally and physically healthy for their own good,” said Connolly.

Garrett says officers have already started the training, which began earlier this month.

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