BoisePD and Community Partners have much Progress to Share for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Boise, Oct. 10, 2008 - Boise Police and their community partners briefed the community through the local media today on several new pro-active programs designed to combat domestic violence. The partnerships and programs come as the latest statistics show police calls for service to domestic violence incidents in Boise are down slightly this year.
The news briefing was held at FACES, at 6th & Myrtle in Boise. The Family Advocacy Center and Education Services facility offers victims of domestic violence "one stop" contact with police investigators, prosecutor, counselors and support services.
"The latest statistics give us hope our past efforts are making a difference. But our efforts to combat this critical issues are only increasing," said Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson. "Every call represents the face of a victim and a family torn by violence. We will continue to strengthen our response as a police department and a community to try and help every family in need."
from the Boise Police Department Crime Analysis Unit :
Felony Offenses: 2006, 2007, '08 thru Sep 30, 08 Projected, 07-08%Diff
Domestic Aggravated Battery/Strangulation 116 111 49 65 -41%
Domestic Violence Child Present 9 3 10 13 333%
Domestic Violence Victim Pregnant 1 2 1 1 -50%
Total DV Felony Offenses: 126 116 60 80 -31%
Misdemeanor Offenses: 2006, 2007, '08 thru Sep 30, '08 Projected, 07-08%Diff
Domestic Simple Battery 449 480 302 403 -16%
Domestic Violence Child Present 171 49 94 125 156%
Domestic Violence Victim Pregnant 18 14 9 12 -14%
Domestic Assault 13 12 6 8 -33%
Total DV Misdemeanor Offenses: 659 555 411 548 -1%
Total DV Offenses: 785 671 471 628 -6%
DV & Other Calls for Service Statistics: 2006, 2007, '08 thru Sep 30, '08 Projected, 07-08%Diff
Domestic Battery Report 126 170 120 160 -6%
Domestic Physical 1244 1228 911 1215 -1%
Domestic Threat 113 71 36 48 -32%
Domestic Verbal 1253 1257 775 1033 -18%
Family Fight 437 414 322 429 4%
No Contact Order Violation 251 250 195 260 4%
PO Violation 115 126 67 89 -29%
Rape 161 155 110 147 -5%
Sexual Assault 373 300 229 305 2%
Total Domestic Related Calls-for-Service 4073 3971 2765 3687 -7%
Boise Police Detective Matt Brechwald, a domestic violence investigator for the BPD Special Victims Unit, says domestic violence affects hundreds of Idaho children each year, potentially impacting the health of Idaho families for generations. Domestic violence also impacts the workplace with absences and lost productivity.
Det. Brechwald, on behalf of Boise PD, and in partnership with Boise State University and the Boise City Attorney's Office, has established a recurring internship program through the BSU Criminal Justice Department. A selected college intern now screens hundreds of misdemeanor crime reports, like telephone harassment, unlawful entry, and vandalism, looking to see if the reports contain a connection to domestic violence.
Reports identified to have a DV connection are immediately routed to the City Attorney's Office, where prosecutors expedite arrest warrants.
"The goal is identify other cases related to domestic violence, to get the offender into custody quickly, and try to stop the behavior before it turns more violent." said Det. Brechwald.
Det. Brechwald also outlined how domestic violence reports responded to by Boise Police patrol officers are now being immediately routed for screening to the SVU Sergeant, who can quickly assign a detective for follow up.
""We as detectives, are making every attempt to contact the victim the same day the initial report is taken and let that victim know police, legal, and counseling resources are here and we want to help," said Det. Brechwald.
"Often, after making a police report, the victim is contacted by the offender, or by the offenders family. We want to be sure that victim is contacted just as quickly by the community resources that are here to help and support the victim. In our case, that means bypassing the traditional report routing process."
Animal abuse may also be a precursor to domestic abuse, says Det. Brechwald. He and his colleagues at FACES recently developed a brochure, unveiled to the public today, and now available at many local veterinarian clinics, that educates citizens and vet clinic workers to the potential danger of animal abuse escalating into domestic violence.
SuperValu (Albertson's) is also partnering with Boise Police in a pilot project designed to get family safety and domestic violence prevention information to company employees.
Det. Brechwald and Boise Police Victim Witness Advocate Tina Perkins have visited with SuperValu employees at their Boise headquarters giving brown bag lunch talks on safety plans, police response, and victim resources. Boise Police and SuperValu have also designed a brochure available at several locations in the SuperValu offices, with safety planning information discreetly yet conveniently available to company employees.
"Our greatest asset is our associates, and we're proud to partner with the Boise Police Department on this critical issue," said Dan P. Murphy, Director of Investigative and Security Services for SuperValu. "We value our position in the community. And getting this important information to our associates shows we value them, as well."
Chief Masterson made clear stopping the cycle of family violence will take committed corporate partners like SuperValu. The effort also takes the dedication of other law enforcement partners, like county and city prosecutors.
Boise City Attorney Cary Colaianni says prosecutors in his office have a renewed focus on domestic violence cases. Colaianni says since he became City Attorney some four years ago, prosecutors have doubled the number of cases they take to jury trial, increasing their effort to hold offenders accountable.
Colaianni also used the news briefing today to make two important announcements; a new case management system that will soon allow citizens to track the success city prosecutors have with convictions in cases involving domestic violence and other crimes; and the Boise City Attorney's Office will soon staff a Victim Witness Advocate at FACES.
"Our goal is the same, to work with domestic violence victims more effectively, to help ensure their safety, and to provide victims with a seemless approach to reporting, investigation, and prosecution." said Colaianni.
The Executive Director of FACES, Kevin McTeague also revealed two major improvements to services offered at FACES.
The center now has a colorful and inviting supervised children's play area. The play area will allow parents to take advantage of FACES services knowing their children are taken care of. The creative children's play center is thanks largely to the Soroptimists International of Garden City, the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, and the Ada County Board of Commissioners.
A new Videophone, operational in December, will allow FACES clients seeking emergency protection orders an immediate and convenient link to the 4th District Courts. FACES, the Court, and the Women's and Children's Alliance helped make the Videophone a reality.
One of the outstanding events happening in Boise as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is the upcoming Idaho Summit on Children Exposed to Domestic Violence. Sue Fellen, Director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence is coordinating the summit. The event features one of the world's leading authorities on the topic, Jeffrey L. Edleson, Ph.D, of the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. The summit is free at the Boise Centre on the Grove Tuesday, Oct. 28th from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Coalition has also provided the Boise Police Department and the Ada County Sheriff's Office with 100 magnetic purple ribbons. The ribbons carry the message "Stop Domestic Violence". The two largest law enforcement agencies in Ada County will place the ribbons on their patrol cars to carry the message public throughout the month of October.
Chief Masterson says the Boise Police Department will continue to reach out to improve internal processes and increase community partnerships, with goal of improving services to victims and ultimately preventing domestic violence. Working with partners like FACES, SuperValu, County and City Prosecutors, other police agencies, the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, the WCA, BSU Women’s Center, and others, is the key to improving the health of Idaho families.
"We are so proud of the progress Boise City and Ada County community partners have made in the fight against domestic violence, " said Chief Masterson. "But reports still show we're seeing dangerous felony offenses, violence in front of children, repeat offenders, and repeated violations of no contact orders"
"We will continue to work together to reach out to victims, to do our best to intervene early and get help for victims, children and offenders. Our goal is to break the cycle of family violence, keep families healthy, and allow parents to raise children in a healthy, nurturing environment. That's something that will make this community safer for all of us."
FACES - Family Advocacy Center & Education Services - 577-4403
WCA - Women’s & Children’s Alliance – 343-3688
Crisis Hotline – 343-7025
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence – 384-0419
Men Today Men Tomorrow – 384-0419
(Men Today Men Tomorrow is organized through the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Sexual Violence Prevention program.)
Boise State University Women’s Center - 426-4259