The Tioga Police Department is always trying to make changes to help us better serve those in our community who need us. In June of 2022, Chief Nelson attended the North Dakota Chiefs of Police Conference, where he learned of soft interview rooms. A soft interview room is extremely valuable for interviewing people who have been victims of a traumatic crime. Soft interview rooms are designed to help a victim feel safe and comfortable while in a non-intimidating environment to obtain as much information as possible from the victim.
When a victim can tell their whole story with all its details, it helps to protect them from having to retell their story multiple times and relive the trauma. The department’s goal is to secure a conviction of the offender without re-traumatizing the victim. Chief Nelson learned from this conference about an organization, Project Beloved, which awards grants to departments to design and furnish soft interview rooms.
The Tioga Police Department had two identical interview rooms with gray walls, plastic chairs, and stainless-steel tables. After contacting Project Beloved, they agreed to help us turn one of those interview rooms into a soft interview room. Project Beloved designed the soft interview room and donated all the furniture and photos to complete the project. Project Beloved even chose a mellow paint color to help the room feel more inviting. We proudly announce that we completed our soft interview room last week.
The new soft interview room features comfortable chairs, a rug, softer lighting, a weighted blanket, artwork, essential oils, and a diffuser. Project Beloved was founded to bring light to the darkness that followed the rape and murder of Molly Jane Matheson and Megan Getrum, only days apart, by the same offender. An exciting component of this room is that the photos hanging on the wall were taken by Megan Getrum before her murder. Megan was an aspiring photographer, and these photos helps her spirit shine in others’ darkest times. More information about Project Beloved can be found at https://www.projectbeloved.org.
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