CITY OF SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Mayor Sam Kathryn Campana
 

Scottsdale Domestic Violence Action Team

In December, 1996, the Scottsdale Police Department determined that the ideal format for a domestic violence response is for the criminal justice community to take a systems approach to the growing problem through the implementation of a Scottsdale Domestic Violence Action Team. The team consists of a police domestic violence specialist (social worker), police domestic violence detective, domestic violence city prosecutor, and partnerships with the Maricopa County Task Force Against Domestic Abuse and the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The domestic violence specialist serves as the team coordinator and is responsible for providing the following victim services: 1) On scene crisis stabilization; 2) relocation assistance; 3) instructions for seeking orders of protection; 4) provide basic supplies (food, clothes, baby supplies, transportation, etc.); 4) transportation to and from medical facilities and shelters; 5) provide follow-up referral services to other agencies;

6) assist victims develop personal safety plans to include an inventory of steps they should accomplish prior to leaving the abusive home; 7) refer the victim to the Victims Advocacy Program within the City Prosecutor's Office for assistance during the court procedure; 8) serve as the liaison and the point of contact for the two program partners: the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Maricopa County Task Force Against Domestic Abuse; 9) attend the partner meetings to receive and provide feedback on the program; and 10) coordinate training for the team members and the first responders to domestic violence calls, i.e. police officers, paramedics. The two partners will assist in providing this training.

The domestic violence police detective: 1) investigates the 400 domestic violence cases reported to the Violent Crimes Unit; 2) coordinates and provides technical assistance to the Property Crimes detectives regarding the domestic violence-related property crimes which represent approximately 200 cases per year; 3) tracks and targets domestic violence repeat offenders for prosecution; and 4) conducts follow-up investigations as requested by the domestic violence prosecutor.

The domestic violence prosecutor is responsible for: 1) reviewing all domestic violence cases referred to City Court for potential case filing; 2) consulting with the domestic violence detective to ensure the case is strong and all investigative leads have been documented; 3) building rapport with the victims by attending their interviews before trial; 4) implementing vertical prosecution in City Court whereby the domestic violence prosecutor handles all phases of the case; 5) coordinates the case with the domestic violence detective and specialist for case problem solving; and 6) provides cross training to other prosecutors on domestic violence in order to allow continuous service during times when the domestic violence prosecutor is on vacation.

This program takes a comprehensive approach to domestic violence through integrated victim education/assistance, comprehensive case investigation and court preparation, and a strong prosecutorial stance towards domestic violence offenders with a commitment to enhanced sentencing for repeat offenders. The program encompasses the enforcement and prosecutorial entities of the city of Scottsdale's criminal justice system and will have the expected impact of more effective charging, prosecution and sentencing for these offenses while providing enhanced services to victims.

Community policing programs serve as the catalyst to introduce the program to the Scottsdale residents. The department's existing programs allow for the introduction of the Domestic Violence Action Team through officers' beat meetings, literature made available at the neighborhood beat offices, and program introductions by videotape broadcast on the city's cable station. Since patrol officers are permanently assigned to beats, they are a good resource for knowing the locations of domestic violence repeat calls and becoming trained to make referrals to the Domestic Violence Action Team.

Finally, as partners in the domestic violence systems approach, the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Maricopa County Task Force Against Domestic Abuse have agreed to: 1) serve in an advisory capacity to the Scottsdale Domestic Violence Action Team; 2) assist with training opportunities for the Domestic Violence Action Team, police officers, and other first responders to domestic violence calls; 3) assist with program development and mid-program evaluation; 4) utilize the Domestic Violence Specialist in the Crisis Unit as a liaison to the police department; and 5) refer to the Domestic Violence Specialist in the Crisis Unit when geographically appropriate.

CONTACT: Alison Brevard, Scottsdale Police Department, 3700 N. 75th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, Telephone - (602) 994-7029, Fax - (602) 994-7701.

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