NEW YORK (PIX11) — The NYPD announced its new head of the Special Victims Division on Wednesday. Inspector Carlos Ortiz, a 25-year-veteran with the department, will be leading the unit.
“My message to survivors is we’re here for you,” Ortiz said Wednesday. It’s a comforting message from Ortiz, and it comes after the Special Victims Division was accused in recent years of being insensitive when victims of sex crimes would go to the police to report. Ortiz is looking to change that narrative by keeping officers trained at the highest standard when speaking with survivors.
“It’s one of the things I think is important and you always have to keep up with what’s going on. Today’s training may not be good tomorrow,” Ortiz said. “We kind of all work for the same person, which is the survivor … The idea and the ultimate goal is when that survivor leaves there it feels like, ‘Hey, you know what? They did everything they could in regards to my case.'” Ortiz said.
Ortiz previously served as a domestic violence sergeant for five years in the Bronx. He was also a captain in the borough and later a commanding officer of Manhattan South.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell made the announcement of Ortiz’s selection Wednesday, releasing a statement saying in part:
“He has extensive investigative experience, and I am confident in his proven abilities to enhance our public safety mission and further strengthen our close working relationships with advocacy groups – whose own members were consulted in the selection process for this critical role.”
Survivors’ advocates provide resources to victims of sex crimes and Ortiz says the work will not stop if an arrest is not made. The division will work with advocacy groups to ensure the survivor has what he or she needs.
Ortiz also understands that positive reinforcement for his team can go a long way. There will be easier opportunities for investigators to move up in the division.
“When it comes to recognition, when it comes to promotion, I think it’s very important to make sure that their stories are out there — the great work that they’re doing,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz said that this is a long-term position for him, a position he jumped at because he’d been yearning to get back to the detective work to help solve crimes and bring justice to survivors.