RRPD CVAU/Sandoval County Collaboration

The Rio Rancho Police Department CVAU Coordinator, Tori-Lynn Heaton M.S., and Sandoval County Undersheriff Karl Wiese have been working together since spring of 2015 to provide assistance and advocacy for those crime victims in Sandoval County that qualify for a Family Violence Order of Protection.

This collaboration is the result of a partnership established while the CVAU Coordinator sought additional funding to expand the staff through a STOP VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) grant.

Ms. Heaton recognized the many obstacles victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and/or stalking face while navigating the process to seek an Order of Protection. Residents of Rio Rancho have the benefit of being able to work with one of the Police Department’s Crime Victim Advocates (CVA’s); however, due to high volume and a small staff, unless an individual had specific knowledge of resources available throughout Sandoval County, they were relegated to proceed without the support of a knowledgeable advocate.

As of July 1, 2016 the Rio Rancho CVAU will be accepting referrals from the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office for those individuals seeking an order of protection and would like the assistance of an advocate.

To assist the effectiveness of the partnership, the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office agreed to provide a Surface Tablet for the Crime Victim Advocate position that was expanded from part-time to full-time under the new grant.

While researching costs, the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office reached out to VLCM Tech, an IT Company located in Rio Rancho. When the company learned the tablet was to provide improved technology and efficiency for the CVAU, Monica Madrid, General Manager of VLCM Tech donated an additional tablet stating, “It had been a privilege for VLCM to partner with Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office and the Crime Victim Assistance Unit of the Rio Rancho Police Department to provide the needed technology.”