UC Public Safety Creates Specialized Unit to Provide Victim Support Services

As the dialogue about crimes of sexual assault on college campuses continues to gain national prominence, the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Public Safety is strengthening the university’s commitment to provide safety and advocacy support services related to reducing crime, including sexual misconduct.

In coordination with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the department has launched a Special Investigations Unit. Two positions have been created within the department to form the new unit – a trauma informed investigator and victim services coordinator. 

“The Special Investigations Unit, which is the first of its kind in the region, is dedicated to responding to and investigating incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence and stalking,” said Jason Goodrich, UC’s director of public safety and chief of police. “Our job is to protect and support the university’s students, faculty and staff. We want them to know that we have quality resources and we are here to help.”

Detective Bill Richey transitioned to the investigator’s position within the Special Investigations Unit this winter. Richey, who has more than 15 years of law enforcement experience, joined UC Public Safety’s police department in 2005. Victim Services Coordinator Jennifer Rowe, who was hired in March to support crime victims, has 14 years of experience as a court advocate helping victims, including those of sexual assault and domestic violence. Together, Richey and Rowe will provide investigative and support services to victims of sexual assault crimes and serve as liaisons with UC’s Title IX Coordinator and other campus services. A second investigator position is slated to be added to the unit this fall.

“Being victimized is a traumatic experience,” said Richey. “Once a victim chooses to seek help, they often don’t know where to start. We can help them navigate through the available resources both on and off campus so they don’t become overwhelmed.” 

Rowe is eager to serve as an advocate for members of the UC community. “Seeing someone through a crisis is critically important. If a student needs to file a protection order or chooses to take legal action, I can walk them through that process. I can be there to support and guide them and hopefully make the process a little easier.”  

For more information about additional safety tools and resources provided by UC's Department of Public Safety, visit www.uc.edu/publicsafety.

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