◼ 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.”