ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Over the past few years, there have been several high-profile officer-involved shootings in Minnesota, including Jamar Clark, Philando Castille, Thurman Blevens and Justine Damond.
Now, the people most directly affected by the shootinsg will get some help from a new employee at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The Minnesota BCA is hiring for a new victim liaison position for families of people impacted by officer-involved shootings, among other things.
"This is the first time we've ever seen a victim liaison in the BCA, so that is very exciteing to us," said Julia Tindell, of the Minnesota Alliance on Crime.
The full-time, permanent job in the BCA Investigations Division intends to “provide collaborative victim, family and community support and response as a liaison for families and relatives of persons impacted by an officer-involved shooting and use of deadly force," according to the job listing.
"I can tell you I would imagine this particular kind of victimization would be so harmful and so difficult to navigate. Having a victim advocate there whose whole role would be trauma-informed care and supportive would be a game-changer for victims," Tindell added.
The Minnesota Alliance on Crime provides training for victim advocates in county attorney's offices across the state, but recently has led a push to have similar positions added in law enforcement agencies as well to give victims emotional support, referrals to community services and help them navigate the criminal justice system.
"A victim advocate's responsiblity is to make sure the victim isn't lost in the shuffle," Tindell said.
The BCA says the newly-hired employee will also help victims of human trafficking, financial crimes and predatory crimes.
The agency says it hopes to find a person who has experience in criminal justice, victim advocacy, family advocacy and youth or juvenile advocacy.