Domestic violence audit earns Craig department rave review
June 11, 2007
The Craig Police Department recently earned praise — and a prestigious state award — for conducting the first audit of domestic violence safety and accountability in Colorado.
Last week, the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police awarded the Craig department with a Pioneering Police Award.
The department was given the award for developing a “totally innovative program, policy or concept not knowingly used elsewhere to further professionalism of law enforcement and/or the service to citizens.”
“It’s quite an honor to be recognized,” Chief Walt Vanatta said. “This is the second time (since 2001) we’ve won a Pioneering Police Award.”
The other award came in 2001 for initiating a safety belt program for youths.
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The domestic violence project, dubbed the Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit, began in 2003 by the Moffat County Domestic Violence Task Force, a multi-organizational group of law enforcement, prosecutors, mental health professionals, social service workers and probation officers.
Vanatta praised the task force’s team effort, particularly Advocates — Crisis Support Services.
“This recognition would not have been possible if not for all the dedication and hard work that everyone involved committed to the project,” he said.
The audit, Vanatta said, was a critical examination and analysis of the “institutional community response to domestic violence through the use of observations and interviews, text analysis and victim focus groups.”
The task force then prepared for formal recommendations to improve system response.
According to a letter Vanatta wrote to the CACP award nominating committee, the audit “represents a significant community commitment to improve system response,” and recognizes that a better response “increases victim safety, offender accountability and system accountability and responsibility.”
The task force developed several recommendations for improving response. Those recommendations included developing a domestic violence review team, strengthening prosecution, consistency in response and improving understanding regarding victim access, content and responder functions.
Vanatta said the recommendations are in the process of being implemented.