Once you start doing LAP, he says, the positive effects start rippling out and educate the entire system.
End the cycle
MNADV is working to extend the training beyond Maryland's borders. In October 2008, the Department of Justice awarded an Edward Byrne Memorial Grant to MNADV to provide train-the-trainer instruction and technical assistance to law enforcement and community-based domestic violence programs.
Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department is in one of those areas. Police officers responding to calls, taking reports, investigating and making arrests — these things don't break the cycle of violence, says Capt. Mark Folsom, commander of the Kansas City Police Department Special Victims Unit. Law enforcement is just part of the equation, he says. "By involving domestic violence advocates, hopefully we get victims help so the cycle can be broken.
"Our goal is to make a difference in the community by connecting victims to the resources that they need," Folsom says. "Hopefully, that makes a difference for them personally. Hopefully, that makes a difference for us, as a police department, by lowering our crime numbers. And hopefully, that makes the city a safer place to live in."
From June to December 2009, Kansas City did 1216 attempted screens. Of those, 831 were high danger, and 514 of the high-danger victims spoke to a counselor.
"[LAP is] something that at the very minimum tells the victim she's in a dangerous situation," Folsom says. "Maybe that's all it takes for her to change her life and get the help she needs."
Editor's note: For further information on LAP, see www.mnadv.org.
Rebecca Kanable is a freelance writer specializing in law enforcement topics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.