“This is something that is badly needed,” Police Capt. Mike Brewer said. “There have been increasing volumes of domestic violence cases in the past two-and-a-half to three years. We have had two domestic violence-related homicides in the past three years.”
Brewer said in 2008 there were 171 reported cases of domestic violence. In 2009, there were 173 reported cases. The number increased to 251 cases in 2010 and 254 in 2011. Through May of 2012, the department has seen 131 cases.
“These numbers are on the low side and do not include the unreported cases,” he said. “That would probably add another 50-60 cases per year.”
Brewer said the department had two investigators who handled all investigative crimes.
“This new third investigative position is strictly devoted to domestic violence cases,” he said.
Brewer said Investigator Amanda Crow is the new domestic violence investigator, who starts working in that capacity today.
“She will follow the cases from start to finish, through the court system,” he said. “It is law enforcement based, but geared more toward helping victims. She will perform follow-up calls on all misdemeanor domestic violence incidents, and will be called out to the scene on felony domestic violence cases.”
Brewer said although it will be a long process, hopefully the new domestic violence position will help be a deterrent.
“We are hoping a more proactive approach will reduce the number of domestic violence incidents and reduce the repeat offences,” he said. “We also plan to do research on domestic violence throughout this area and hopefully expand it in the future.”
Crow said she is excited to get started in her new position.
“There is a great need for follow-up on domestic violence cases,” she said. “As a patrol officer, I have dealt with countless domestic violence calls.”
Crow said she has attended numerous domestic violence training classes, which will help her in her work.
“My whole focus is on the victim,” she said. “I want to help support the victims and advocate for them.”
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.