Program Specialist

Melissa Hightower is the SAFVIC Systems program consultant.  She
began the initial design & development of SAFVIC Systems, served as an instructor and program specialist and continues to
assist in the development, implementation, and training for SAFVIC Systems and
SAFVIC programs. Prior to joining TMPA, Melissa worked for the Williamson
County Attorney’s Office retiring as Chief Investigator after 20 years of
service. As Chief Investigator, Melissa directly supervised sworn Investigators
and the civilian Evidence Division staff of the office. During her tenure at
the County Attorney’s Office, Melissa reviewed & investigated thousands of
Domestic Violence cases, assisted victims in obtaining Protective Orders and served
as the Juvenile Crimes Investigator. Because of her training in the area of
domestic violence and protective orders, Melissa was inducted into the
Williamson County Crime Victim Hall of Fame.

Melissa designed, taught and
coordinated the new Investigator curriculum at Texas District and County Attorney’s
Association (TDCAA) Investigator School for 15 years. In addition, she has trained
officers, prosecutors, investigators, victim advocates and support staff on
topics such as Immunity & Liability, Digital Evidence, Courtroom
Technology, the Use of Body Cameras, Officer Misconduct, and Social Media. She
also teaches for the CAPCOG Regional Police Academy, Border Prosecution Unit, DPS
Recruit school, and local law enforcement agencies in the areas of Family
Violence, Courtroom Demeanor, Victims’ Rights, Juvenile issues, Report Writing,
Ethics & Professionalism, Eyewitness Identification, and Legislative
updates. Melissa created and debuted a training class that explored the areas
of Family Violence & Mental Health and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Melissa was a contributing writer to early
editions of the TDCAA Investigator Desk Reference Manual. She co-authored TDCAA’s
latest book for investigators entitled “Case Preparation for Investigators”, now
in its 2nd edition.  

In addition to Williamson County,
Melissa has served with Northside ISD Police Department in San Antonio and two
years as an Investigator with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.
has a master peace officer license and is a Forgery & Questioned Document
retiring, she maintains her commission with a private college.  Melissa has a Bachelor of Science degree in
Psychobiology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Centre College of

Melissa Hightower

• Introduction to SAFVIC Systems

• Trauma-Informed Victim Interviews

• Texas Investigation & Prosecution of Strangulation (TxIPS)

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