In 2015, the SFDA Victim Services Division set out to create a plan for deploying and utilizing the resources of our division in the event of a mass casualty, active shooter or terrorist event. In our role, we bring resources to victims, their loved ones, and witnesses of violent events.
The Victim Services division is comprised of trained and multilingual advocates who work collaboratively with the Department of Emergency Management, Department of Public Health, San Francisco International Airport, Department of Human Services, or Law Enforcement. The Unit works with other San Francisco Departments and Agencies to fill gaps in victim support following mass casualty incidents. The goal is to provide a unified response for victims of mass violence for both the immediate, short-term and long-term trauma they will face.
Multiple Bay Area counties renewed an expanded Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows these counties to request shared resources and personnel in the event of a mass casualty. The goals of the Bay Area Mass Crime Victim Casualty Planning Committee include:
Each county develop a department and county deployment plan
Develop a Bay Area response and mutual aid plan
Develop a memorandum of understanding between counties
Our unit provides the following services in response to mass crime:
Assists with tracking of loved ones/missing persons
Assists with staffing Family Assistance Center
Provides immediate and short-term emotional support to victims, survivors, witnesses, and loved ones
Provides information about services and resources for victims
Connects those affected by the event to resources for immediate, short-term, and long-term recovery.
Provides criminal justice system support by assisting victims during trials, helping organize memorial events, providing updates on court proceedings, etc.
Assists with completing crime victim compensation applications
Common Trauma Reactions Following Mass Crime Events