Victim and Witness Services Specialist

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2023


DSS Police: Patrol Services

About the Department

The University of Chicago campus is part of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, which contains a significant amount of off-campus housing for undergraduate and graduate students. More than a third of the University's staff resides in areas surrounding the campus, and more than 50% of the University's faculty live in the Hyde Park area. The Department of Safety and Security includes the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD), Transportation and Parking Services, Environmental Health and Safety, Emergency Management/Business Continuity, and the Campus Safety Division which includes the UC Charter School and UC Laboratory Schools Security. The Department mission is to provide professional and best in class safety and transportation services to members of the University and surrounding communities.

Job Summary

The University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) is seeking Victim and Witness Services Specialists for its newly created Victim and Witness Services Unit. Reporting to the Director of the Victim and Witness Services Unit, the Victim and Witness Services Specialist provides a continuum of victim and witness support from crisis through investigation and judicial processes ensuring the rights and needs of crime victims and witnesses in UCPD’s primary and extended jurisdictions are served. The Victim and Witness Services Specialist provides crisis intervention, medical and legal advocacy, emotional support and victim’s rights education to victims and witnesses who report crimes to the UCPD, regardless of whether or not UPCD is the primary investigating agency. The Victim and Witness Services Specialist will work closely with other University departments, including Campus and Student Life’s Dean on Call program, the University of Chicago Medical Center, as well as outside agencies such as the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.


  • Assists victims and witnesses by referring them to community and local support resources including professional counseling and support groups.
  • Provides emotional, physical, and practical support to victims and witnesses of crime. Identifies and informs victims of crimes of their rights according to the law and acts as a liaison between victims/witnesses, police officers/detectives, county attorneys, city and county victim advocates, and community-based agencies.
  • Maintains contact and communication with victims and witnesses during the investigation, prosecution, and judicial proceedings to provide information regarding status of criminal and/or civil cases.
  • Responds to call outs, when needed, in order to provide crisis intervention, support and advocacy services.
  • Maintains accurate records and case management reports.
  • Enters all cases assigned to the Victim and Witness Services Unit in the UCPD case management system. Coordinates procedures for police notification of witnesses and victims participating in the judicial process, ensuring effective exchange of information as necessary.
  • Assists the Director with providing training to new employees assigned to the Victim and Witness Services Unit. Provides additional administrative duties, as assigned, to assist the Director and/or other unit personnel.
  • Presents to University and community groups regarding the Unit’s services and programs and serves as a department subject-matter expert for victim/witness services.
  • Provides victim and witness assistance training and consultation to University departments, community groups and outside agencies.
  • Provides public information to various agencies, departments and/or University groups as requested to enhance the public’s awareness of the program.
  • Provides operational support, including security monitoring and identification checks at designated entrances and areas, ensuring compliance with internal policies and procedures.
  • Completes incident reports and makes appropriate notifications to the proper parties, completing work with a moderate degree of supervision.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include vocational training, apprenticeships or the equivalent experience in related field (not typically required to have a four-year degree).

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as counseling, social work, or criminal justice.
  • Obtain specialized training or advanced education related to victim/witness services as needed.


  • Crime victim crisis intervention, counseling, and/or victim’s advocacy experience.
  • Experience in campus public safety.


  • Valid driver's license that grants reciprocity in the State of Illinois or eligible to obtain one and do so within 60 days of appointment; good driving record.

Preferred Competencies

  • Demonstrated skill in dealing with bureaucratic protocol at all levels of the Department of Safety and Security and University organizations.
  • Commitment to serving the interest of the University community and the strategic goals of the Department of Safety and Security.
  • Absorb and interpret information given while maintaining perspective on the goals of the Department.
  • Maintain professionalism, credibility and good customer service skills when dealing with all contacts, internal and external.
  • Remain calm and objective throughout stressful and unpleasant situations.
  • Make timely, sound decisions and accept responsibility.
  • Communicate effectively and consistently with others using tact when necessary.
  • Knowledge of importance/priority in determining what should be communicated to supervisors.
  • Negotiate compromises between others.
  • Fully understand the mission, values, objectives, and goals of the department and incorporate them in the daily operations of the Department.
  • Effectively deal with a variety of unpleasant circumstances and unusual human conduct associated with and/or arising from emergency situations including, but not limited to, physical trauma, mental and/or physical stress, panic, etc.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with public and enforcement officials, general public, and members of the University community.
  • Work with people of various ages and backgrounds and with diverse constituencies, including students, parents, faculty, and staff in the University and the Medical Center.
  • Build consensus and credibility across the campus.
  • Resolve conflicts and manage sensitive emergency situations appropriately.
  • Demonstrated self-restraint in challenging and/or difficult situations.
  • Demonstrate good moral character.
  • Mentally and physically react effectively, quickly, calmly, and rationally during times of conflicts and emergencies.
  • Write policy and procedures for department use.
  • Incorporate new information after one has arrived at a conclusion in a problem analysis process.

Working Conditions

  • High stress environment.
  • On-call responsibilities.
  • Operate vehicles/drive motorized equipment.
  • Outdoor weather exposure.
  • Office environment.
  • Use computers extensively for 4 hours or more.
  • Travel to various off-campus locations.
  • Travel to various on-campus locations.
  • Use standard office equipment.
  • On call and available to work nights/weekends/holidays as necessary.
  • Work in inclement weather or weather extremes.

Mental Demands:

  • Aware of safety hazards and take appropriate precautions.
  • Communicate in writing.
  • Communicate orally.
  • Comprehend technical documents.
  • Condense complicated issues to simple summaries that can be understood by a variety of constituents.
  • Create and deliver presentations.
  • Develop and manage interpersonal relationships.
  • Exercise absolute discretion regarding confidential matters.
  • Follow written and/or verbal instructions.
  • Give directions.
  • Handle sensitive matters with tact and discretion.
  • Handle stressful situations.
  • Learn and develop skills.
  • Maintain a high level of alertness.
  • Pay attention to detail.
  • Perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Prioritize work and meet deadlines.
  • React effectively, quickly, calmly, and rationally during conflicts and emergencies.
  • Ability to read.
  • Train or teach others.
  • Work effectively and collegially with little supervision or as member of a team.
  • Work with frequent interruptions.
  • Work with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Active listening skills.
  • Critical thinking skills.
  • Decision making skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Math skills.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Planning skills.
  • Problem solving skills.
  • Quantitative and analytical skills.
  • Reasoning skills.
  • Time management skills.

Physical Efforts:

  • Bend, crouch, or stoop.
  • Sit or stand for 4 hours or more.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Police & Security

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.