Merriam Police officers are making their own personal commitment during Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April with the “Start by Believing” campaign.
Led by the Metropolitan Organization to County Sexual Assault (MOCSA), the campaign and pledge supports sexual assault victims, who are often doubted or blamed if they file a police report. MOCSA said most victims don’t report the crime to police and said officers can help end this cycle by believing the victim when a crime is first reported. MOCSA said police reports that are handled professionally and fairly will lead to successful police investigations, and by changing the way officers respond to sex assault crimes, officers can better help victims pursue justice and healing.
Merriam Police Chief Michael Daniels said this is the third year his officers have been involved with this campaign.
“With this campaign, our officers are pledging to really listen when someone tells us he or she was sexually assaulted,” Chief Daniels said. “This pledge is a continuation of what we try to do daily. We have extensive training when it comes to sexual assault victims, and our officers have a better handle on treating victims with respect, just like our department’s core values of courage, sacrifice, and compassion.”
The “Start by Believing” campaign runs through the end of April.