Washington State law enforcement officers who regularly conduct adult sexual assault investigations are mandated (by RCW 101.43.272) to attend a 3-day trauma-informed, victim-centered interview training offered by the Criminal Justice Training Commission (https://cjtc.wa.gov/training-education/special-investigations/). In this course, Sexual Assault Investigations – Victim-Centered Engagement and Resiliency Tactics, officers are trained to understand and recognize the physiological and behavioral impacts of trauma as they work with victims of sexual assault. During the course, practice interviews with professional, improv actors in reality-based scenarios allow officers to apply approaches and techniques designed to aid victim and officer well-being and endurance through these intensive, sensitive interactions. Course instructors and interview facilitators have been trained to integrate wellness skills derived from the Trauma Resource Institute’s Community Resiliency Model® (http://traumaresourceinstitute.com) into the interview practices to tap into and grow resilience. Additionally, officers are educated about the roles and responsibilities of multidisciplinary team members, conducting offender-focused investigations, and effective evidence collection techniques and report writing. They are also provided prosecution perspectives and strategies to strengthen case continuance and outcomes and increase offender accountability.
During this webinar, Jen will elaborate on the SAI-VCERT training content, with emphasis on the victim interview model used in this class and the integration of Community Resiliency Model wellness skills. Information will be provided to advocates about what can be expected in this law enforcement training course.
Jen Wallace is the Program Manager for Sexual Assault Investigations at the WA State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC). She joined CJTC after a career as a criminal investigator and supervisor with the U.S. Dept. of Defense in Seattle and Syracuse, NY. Jen worked as a civilian with the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) High Risk Victims Unit on a federal human trafficking grant and served as a volunteer with the SPD’s Victim Support Team as she learned about the neurobiological and behavioral impacts of trauma and the importance of collaborating with various victim service providers and subject matter experts in cases involving various forms of violence and abuse. With its multidisciplinary team approach, Jen and the training cadre have delivered 14 trainings to over 275 officers through Washington State.