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Police garner grant to fight violence against women

A special version of the city’s marked police cars is trimmed in purple to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence. Besides the trim the vehicle sports the Domestic Violence Awareness ribbon, other awareness graphics, and information on how to contact CASDA. Courtesy of the Superior Police Department

The Superior Police Department announced it was awarded a U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, grant totaling $440,969 over the next three years.

The "OVW Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking" grant is designed to encourage partnerships among our local government, courts, victim service providers, coalitions and sexual assault crisis centers to ensure that victims of these crimes are treated seriously, requiring the coordinated involvement of the criminal justice system and community-based victim service organizations.

Goals of the program are to increase victim safety and offender accountability.

The original grant application was reviewed by our existing Domestic Abuse Coordinated Community Response team, which includes members of the Superior Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office, Victim Witness Office, Department of Corrections, Public Defender's Office, Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse, the Domestic Abuse Intervention Program based in Duluth, University of Wisconsin-Superior, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, WITC, Superior school district, Health and Human Services, and other community organizations and representatives.

This group agreed the area could submit a competitive application for the grant and the city, police department, intervention program and CASDA committed to the lengthy application on behalf of all partners.

Some of the more visible results of this grant will be improved policies and procedures for the way all involved entities deliver services to victims of these crimes. Increased offender accountability and improved risk factor analysis would help keep victims safer after the offense is reported to the authorities throughout Douglas County.

The grant will pay wages and benefits of a Superior police detective so full-time attention and investigative resources can be provided to victims.

A CASDA advocate will be embedded part-time in the police department to work with the detective to improve outcomes. Members from the intervention program also will work closely with the police department and CASDA to help facilitate this grant program.