Special Victims Unit Receives Award for Excellence 
On August 3rd, 2016 the Special Victims Unit (SVU) was awarded the 2016 Dan B. Davidson Excellence in Community Inclusion Award by the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council (CDDC). The award recognizes outstanding examples of inclusion of people with disabilities. The Developmental Disabilities Council recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated visionary practices providing exemplary support for people with disabilities leading to meaningful lives in their neighborhoods and communities.

The award stated the following:

Sergeant Damon Vaz and the Aurora Police Department’s Special Victims Unit are the Colorado leader in the inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the justice system by leading the way among justice professionals in preparing for July 1st implementation of mandatory reporting of all crimes against citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), also known as SB109. While the Aurora Police Department’s Special Victims’ Unit (SVU) was initially established to work for justice for abused elders, Sergeant Vaz quickly recognized the need for the Unit to be prepared to include ALL vulnerable populations, including people with I/DD, in its response work. Months prior to mandatory reporting of all crimes against citizens with I/DD went into effect, the Aurora Police Department’s SVU learned the law and worked as if it were the law, not merely a pending mandate. APD’s SVU spearheaded collaboration with adult protective services’ and 17th and 18th Judicial District professionals to establish systems required by SB109 before they were required. They collected data from their responses to crimes where the victim had an I/DD. Sergeant Vaz educates law enforcement professionals throughout the State about APD’s SVU’s experiences with, knowledge about, and collaboration to most effectively implement mandatory reporting of crimes where the victim has an I/DD. Sergeant Vaz and APD’s SVU collaborates with The Arc of Aurora on training and education opportunities for both justice and I/DD professionals.

Special Victims Unit

SVU Unit (L to R): Investigator Sandra Moreno, Agent Lana Maddox, Investigator Travis Lore, Detective Sergeant Damon Vaz, Investigator Bobbi Jo Olson, Investigator Leslie Roberts.

Not pictured: Officer Jim Seneca, Senior Resource Officer

Sergeant Chris Amsler
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
Posted by On 04 August, 2016 at 11:33 AM  

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