CITY OF MAUI (WAILUKU),
Domestic Violence Coalition
In May 1992, in response to its domestic violence problems, the Maui Police Department created a Domestic Violence Coalition which consisted of three components. The Maui Police Department Violence Unit was established, which consisted of one sergeant and two investigators. Besides conducting domestic violence investigations, this unit also conducts training for the other personnel and provides awareness/educational presentations to various organizations in the community. Domestic violence training for the Maui Police Department personnel is constant, with in-service training and annual recall training.
The Domestic Violence Task Force consists of representatives from the Police, Prosecutors Office, Judiciary, Family Court, a member of the County Council and private service providers.
The Domestic Violence Prosecution Team consists of two Deputy Prosecutors, one Investigator and one Victim/Witness Counselor. The vertical prosecution model is utilized in domestic violence cases to ensure that the same attorney handles the case throughout the entire judicial process. The prosecutors have also adopted a "no drop" policy, whereby a victim cannot simply drop charges against the abuser.
The Maui Police Department also has a contractual agreement with a women's shelter that provides two crisis counselors who are immediately available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These counselors provide immediate counseling and referral services for the victims and their children.
From the inception of the program, there was a constant increase in the number of abuse cases (verbal and physical) being reported. It is believed that because of the program's educational/awareness presentations, victims were coming forward to report incidents of abuse when they wouldn't before. In 1995 and 1996, the number of abuse cases reported seemed to peak, and they are now slowly declining. It is believed that the mandatory arrest policy, continual education/awareness programming and a proactive approach toward addressing domestic violence are all factors in a successful decline in domestic violence in Maui.
In 1994, the program received national recognition as a success story in addressing domestic violence. Its features have been shared with law enforcement personnel from Tennessee, American Samoa and other police departments in Hawaii.
The Domestic Violence Coalition is funded by a federal grant of $105,000 and involves three police personnel and two crisis counselors.
CONTACTS: Sgt. Jeff Tanoue, Lt. Brian Nakashima, 55 Mahalani Street, Wailuku, HI 96793, Telephone - (808) 244-6480, Fax - (808) 244-6482.
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.