CITY OF OMAHA,
Domestic Violence Program
The Omaha Domestic Violence program was established in January 1995 with approximately $628,000 in funding from state and county entities, as well as federal grant funding. The main objective of the program is to pursue prosecutions without victim assistance in order to hold batterers accountable for their behavior and stop family violence.
The program is carried out through a coordinated effort involving a domestic violence coordinating council comprised of members of the community from all walks of life and professions. A special domestic services section which includes a domestic violence squad was formed in March of 1997 to complement this effort.
The officers assigned to this unit work closely with misdemeanor and felony prosecutors, prosecutorial liaisons, misdemeanor and felony courts to hold the batterer accountable and remove responsibility for prosecution from victims.
Support services of a prosecutorial liaison, city and county Victim Witness Units, as well as counseling referral services from the community work jointly in a formal network process to resolve the emotional issues surrounding a domestic violence incident.
To ensure success in this effort, over 500 law enforcement personnel were trained in the problem of domestic violence, and on the proper protocols to document and investigate domestic violence incidents.
Due to the recent introduction of this program, long-term measures of effectiveness are not available. However, in the short-term there seem to have been immediate changes in batterer attitudes within the city of Omaha, as well as a form of communication between similarly situated individuals as to the renewed focus of local law enforcement on this serious issue. One measure of early success is the number of misdemeanor and felony warrants obtained by law enforcement personnel as opposed to by the victims of domestic abuse. Officers have been obtaining approximately 30-40 warrants each week for batterers. Prior studies indicate that these individuals, who comprise approximately 30 percent of the department's weekly caseload, would not have been held responsible for their actions prior to the implementation of the new program.
The Omaha Domestic Violence effort involves 14 police personnel, five employed civilians, and 63 volunteers.
CONTACT: Gail Brown, 1819 Farnam Street, Suite 300, Omaha, NE 68183-0300, Telephone - (402) 444-5000, Fax - (402) 444-6059.
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.