Members of the Weatherford Police Department and Parker County Sheriff Office had attended a conference where representatives of the Victim Assistance Team (VAT) from Lockhart, Texas were presenters. The Lockhart program was developed utilizing a group of volunteers who had undergone extensive training in crisis intervention to be able to act at the request of law enforcement to assist with the immediate needs of victims.
Weatherford Police Department and Parker County Sheriff Office began working together to develop a volunteer based program modeled after the Lockhart program to assist with victim needs here in Parker County. Freedom House joined in the efforts early in the developmental stage.
Before the program was completely established, a horrible tragedy struck our community. Four teenage girls were struck by a drunk driver and all four of the girls died as a result of the accident. Counselors from the Parker County CO-Op contacted the Executive Director of Freedom House to help put together a team to work with classmates, teachers, and family members of the four young ladies. After facing this tragedy, Parker County CO-Op councilors joined the efforts to form a victim assistance team for Parker County.
In 1999, the first group of volunteers graduated from the REACT Training Academy.
Topics covered in the academy may include:
The REACT Volunteer Training Academy is approximately 30 hours + graduation.
Once the initial training is completed, volunteers are required to attend monthly meetings/training sessions and be able to regularly set aside time when they may be called out at the request of law enforcement.
Today, Weatherford Police Department and Freedom House jointly coordinate the REACT training academy as well as monthly meetings.