Mayor Richard A. Kimball, Jr.

Project Crossroads

The Jamestown Police Department and the YWCA of Jamestown have developed a program that will reach out into the community to provide intervention through education for the prevention of domestic violence. The program has been named Project Crossroads. The program consists of three employees -- two educators (one uniformed police officer and one advocate from the YWCA), and a support person employed by the YWCA. The staff of Project Crossroads has its office at the Jamestown Police Department.

Over the past ten years, the Jamestown Police Department and the YWCA of Jamestown have worked together at various times on issues involving domestic violence. Through the partnership, the department began to assess additional needs for addressing domestic violence within the community. There was a need to bring together all related service providers dealing with domestic violence issues. The lack of understanding of the roles and responsibilities between service providers was interfering with the community's ability to effectively provide for and deal with the impact of domestic violence. It is one of the priorities of this project to furnish all service providers with specific information regarding the dynamics of domestic violence, available resources, appropriate response to the needs of victims and offenders, as well as a comprehensive understanding of each service provider's specific role. In this way, service providers will have the ability to come together to collectively collaborate on problem-solving ideas and actions.

In addition, the project addresses the issue of adolescent domestic violence on two levels. First, adolescents who are exposed to domestic violence within their homes need support and reassurance that the community does not condone violent behavior. By learning that the community will not view domestic violence as an appropriate means of problem resolution, the adolescent may not become a victim or offender. Secondly, adolescents are being taught alternative means of conflict resolution and anger management.

Through an expanded partnership between service providers, adolescents and the community as a whole, the department is establishing more intensive criteria for recognition of domestic violence issues. This project is providing the education and support needed to empower victims, children and the community to confront domestic violence.

Project Crossroads is carried out on a multi-pronged basis -- a coalition of service providers has been created. The coalition consists of area police, advocates, social services, probation, churches, judges, lawyers, company human resources personnel, hospital staff and any other interested individuals. The coalition meets quarterly. Its goal is for area services to share information and program referral procedures in order to expedite service delivery to abuse victims.

In-services are also held for all area police agencies, with training and supply costs absorbed by Project Crossroads. The training is three-and-a-half hours long, and the curriculum consists of: 1) the dynamics of domestic violence and issues surrounding it; 2) the laws affecting police response in domestic violence cases (mandatory arrest and mandatory reporting; and 3) domestic violence cases and the court system. The course is taught by the two Project Crossroads educators and the District Attorney's Office.

The Project Crossroads staff also conducts a week-long educational component at area high schools. The program is offered to junior and senior students during their health class. This program educates students on the dynamics of domestic violence, the red flags to watch for in violence among dating partners, and what help is available for both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.

CONTACT: Sgt. Bradley C. Meyers, Jamestown Police Department, 201 E. 2nd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701, Telephone - (716) 483-7718, Fax - (716) 483-2277.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

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