Monday, July 26, 2010

Some innovation

Eureka Police Department teams with domestic violence advocates in first project of its kind on North Coast
Dawn Watkins, program director at Humboldt Domestic Violence Services, said the seed for the program was planted about a decade ago, but only began to sprout recently. She said the idea started through the Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee, a subcommittee of the Domestic Violence Council. She said her agency and EPD started a collaboration several years back where officers would call out advocates to crimes scenes to talk to victims. Things were going fine, Watkins said, but she felt the agency could do more.

”I didn't feel like we were reaching the people we needed to reach,” she said, adding that the program seemed to start and stall, and just never really took off.

Watkins said she finally approached Nielsen with the idea of having her advocates go on patrol with his officers, with the idea that “having a non-police person involved in a police situation can be a big help.”

Nielsen, Watkins said, got back to her the next day, saying simply, “Let's do it.”


  1. This is good Rose, I like it when something that makes sense is actually the explored option. In many domestic violence cases, things get overblown and someone goes to jail that shouldn't.

    Having someone to help cool heads and moderate, is a cost effective way of weeding out those that should be separated and those that need to work things out.

    Good post.

  2. How many cases Tom are "many" being arrested that shouldn't be? Do you know or us this a guess? DV is a huge problem that has been all but ignored by our DA. Fewer than 10 percent of cases are even charged in this county. Get the numbers and you'll see that. I am glad that EPD is getting proactve here but its not enough if those that are arrested walk a day afterwards.


Comments are open, but moderated, for the time-being. Good luck.