The Sarasota Police Department has named Jude Castro, formerly of Crescent City, as the department’s new victim advocate.
According to a press release, Castro has relocated to Sarasota and in her first few weeks of getting oriented, has already reached out to numerous victims of crimes offering assistance.
The Victim Advocate position was eliminated two years ago due to budget constraints; however, after receiving a report from the Independent Police Advisory Panel emphasizing the community-wide need for such a position, the City Commission reinstated it for the 2012-2013 budget, which began October 1.
The Victim Advocate provides services and support for crime victims, and is also the liaison between the Sarasota Police Department, the State Attorney’s Office and various community support groups, which work to protect crime victims’ rights.
“This position is an essential component in maintaining continuity so that difficult cases can be brought to a successful and timely resolution,” said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. “The report really highlighted the critical need to support victims and for one staff person to keep tabs on a case as it winds its way through the process.”
In 2012, the Sarasota Police Department investigated 237 domestic violence incidents resulting in 165 arrests.
If you are a victim of a crime committed in the City of Sarasota and are in need of assistance, you may reach Jude Castro at (941) 954-7021