With the help of a $93,719 federal grant, the Statesville Police Department has added a domestic violence officer to its force.City officials are hopeful that the additional officer will be able to assist victims and also reduce the number of domestic violence cases, which affect as much as one-third of all criminal cases reported in the city.“Domestic violence is a huge problem, not just in Statesville, but nationwide,” said Statesville police Sgt. Daniel Miglin, who will oversee the federal grant. “This is a very deserving and important position, and we’re hopeful that, besides helping victims, we’ll be able to educate the entire community about the magnitude of the problem.”Thus far this year, Miglin said, domestic violence cases reported in the city are running behind only larcenies and break-ins. “And we know that … many more incidents … never get reported,” he said.The grant is for two years and requires a $29,338 match from the city. The City Council approved the match Nov. 18 meeting. Officer Stanley Parker has been chosen for the new post and is undergoing specialized training.“We have found that many victims often give up (on prosecuting the perpetrator) as the criminal justice process runs its course,” Miglin said. “One of the primary goals for our new officer will be to escort them through the process and encourage them not to give up.”The city is under no obligation to retain the officer after the two years are up, but comments from city officials indicate they plan to try. “These statistics are compelling, the need is real, and I applaud these efforts,” Mayor Costi Kutteh said as the council approved the program unanimously.The domestic violence officer will have the following duties:• Follow up on all domestic violence cases in Statesville.• Provide support to victims and their families.• Meet with the Iredell County Domestic Violence Task Force, which includes representatives from more than 50 community groups.• Go beyond just an incident report and examine the specific reasons for the violence. • Educate the community about the problem of domestic violence, steps that are being taken and resources that are available.“History has shown that many domestic violence victims absorb significant abuse and violence before they ever call for help,” Miglin said. “We need to break that cycle of violence.”Besides the new officer, the city has approved a contract with Diakonos Inc., a nonprofit agency that operates “My Sister’s House,” a battered women’s shelter in Statesville. Diakonos will provide investigative assistance to designated city police, along with specified educational instruction.
Friday, Dec. 13, 2013
Statesville Police Department adds domestic violence officer
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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