CITY OF PAWTUCKET, RI
Mayor Robert E. Metivier

Domestic Violence Response Team

In response to escalating domestic violence, the Pawtucket Police Department created a Domestic Violence Work Group that included police officers, victim advocates, a prosecutor, a judge, counseling and substance abuse professionals, health care providers and former victims of domestic violence. This work group is committed to the community policing problem-solving model and has identified a specific domestic violence-related problem along with a plan to address it. The plan has several key components. The Work Group acts in an advisory capacity and continues to monitor and evaluate activities under a $200,000 federal Community Policing to Combat Domestic Violence grant. The police department developed the Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) on June 1, 1996, which pairs a police officer and human service professional who respond and follow-up on every reported Domestic Violence assault within 48 hours. The DVRT provides crisis intervention, assessment and referral, support and short-term follow-up services to victims of domestic violence. The DVRT works 6 hours per day, 6 days per week. The DVRT team members together received 40 hours of intensive training prior to the start-up of DVRT responses to homes.

DVRT is developing and will conduct 10 two-hour prevention workshops on domestic violence at a variety of community sites.

DVRT has developed and is implementing a public awareness campaign that consists of newspaper ads and the posting of DVRT posters throughout the city of Pawtucket.

DVRT is developing a four-hour training seminar on domestic violence for every Pawtucket police officer to improve their knowledge and skills in responding to domestic assault calls.

520 hours of individual and/or group counseling and support services is available to victims of domestic violence who are uninsured and/or cannot afford such services. Each victim is allotted five hours.

To date, the DVRT has serviced more than 500 victims of domestic violence. The majority of the victims are responsive to DVRT in that they welcome the teams into their homes. There is that percentage who claim that they do not need that type of intervention for one reason or the other. For the victims who are responsive, follow-up visits are made by DVRT teams to insure that the problem is being helped and that the victim is now safe. Tracking methods are in place for victims who choose to seek counseling as provided by the DVRT program.

Pawtucket's Domestic Violence Response Team is comprised of 11 police personnel and 15 civilian personnel.

CONTACT: Det. Capt. John Haberle, DVRT Project Director, Pawtucket Police Division, 121 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860, Telephone - (401) 727-9100, Ext. 726, Fax - 401) 726-9774.

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