District Attorney Brian Mason delivered on a campaign promise when he took office in 2021 and created a Special Victims Unit in the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office. This specialized division handles sensitive and highly complex sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence cases.
The SVU is led by a Chief Deputy District Attorney, who is a foremost expert in this field, and a team of attorneys, investigators, and victim advocates who have years of experience handling sexual assault and domestic violence cases.
The victim-survivors in these cases often need a higher level of care and understanding due to their relationship to the perpetrator, the intense trauma incurred as a result of the crime, and the barriers created by this type of offense.
The 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office and District Attorney Brian Mason maintain a long-term goal of creating a Family Justice Center within our jurisdiction. The Rapid Response Team (detailed below) will be the foundation for the Family Justice Center. The Center will be a community-based, multi-disciplinary co-located service facility. Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking will have the ability to access critical services in one centralized location.
The 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office is partnering with the Thornton Police Department and other non-profit organizations, such as Family Tree, to create a multi-disciplinary team that will provide an enhanced response to domestic violence situations to ensure individuals are offered the appropriate resources. Officers on-scene will identify high-risk individuals experiencing domestic violence for referral to the Rapid Response Team. The goal is to remove the silos that law enforcement, non-profits, and other government agencies sometimes operate within so information can be shared for the sake of the victim's safety.
To further enhance the services provided to victims, specifically those in domestic violence situations, a Victim Advocate Specialist and a Deputy District Attorney form a Fast Track team. That team's mission is to reach out to victims post-arrest and inform them of their rights pursuant to the Victim Rights Act. The Fast Track team will also offer services to the victim, discuss the court and criminal justice process in detail, as well as provide an explanation of the protection order and bond. The goal is to provide critical information and resources and minimize the amount of time a DV criminal case is pending.