SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - From Salisbury Police: Salisbury Police Department (SPD) has hired Alberta McLaughlin, DMin, as its first dedicated victim witness advocate. In her new role, she will be responsible for providing direct services to victims, including court accompaniment, financial assistance, crisis intervention and referrals to local service providers.
McLaughlin will also work with the Project Safe Neighborhood coordinator to develop effective violence reduction strategies and improve the long-term prevention of gun violence in Salisbury.
With more than 10 years of North Carolina chaplaincy work, McLaughlin began her career as a correctional officer with the Department of Public Safety. After obtaining a Master of Divinity Degree, she would serve as a clinical chaplain for the department. She has also worked as an educator for the Rowan-Salisbury School District. McLaughlin continues to serve as a chaplain at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. Also, she serves as the pastor at Sandhill United Church of Christ and a supply pastor at Allen Temple Presbyterian Church.
“We are proud to add someone with Dr. McLaughlin’s expertise to our staff,” said Police Chief Jerry Stokes. “The need for a victim witness advocate was one of the action items identified during our needs and capabilities assessment by the Department of Justice through our Public Safety Partnership. Adding Dr. McLaughlin to our department begins to meet that identified need. Additionally, one of our department’s priorities is to not only investigate crimes but to ensure the needs of the victims and survivors are also met. Dr. McLaughlin will guide us on how to be more inclusive of the needs of victims and survivors and how to assist individuals and families in achieving long-term positive change. We look forward to Dr. McLaughlin’s guidance, and I know she will be an asset not only for the police department but the entire city.”
“It is a great honor to accept this position as a victim witness advocate for the Salisbury Police Department,” said McLaughlin. “I look forward to bringing my wealth of experiences working with men, women and children who have experienced trauma in their lives, and take those experiences to be an additional resource to SPD and the City of Salisbury at large. In addition to bringing about healing to a community of people who have been exposed as being a victim of crime and to help victims in their transformation of becoming a survivor by walking with them along their journey. As the victim witness advocate, I will represent the City of Salisbury Police Department and I will stand with victims and witnesses.”
McLaughlin earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the College of New Rochelle in New York. She also received a Master of Divinity from Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh and a Doctorate of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.