Johnson City Police Department received a grant to hire a victim specialist

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JOHNSON CITY N.Y – The Johnson City Police Department is joining forces with a local non-profit to address the scourge of domestic violence.

The JCPD has received a grant from the federal Office of Justice Programs to fund a full-time advocate to be stationed within the department.

The victim specialist will be provided by Rise, formerly known as the SOS Shelter, which is our area’s only licensed domestic violence provider.

The advocate will assist police officers with training and consult on DV cases, along with responding to domestic and hospital calls with the police.

Rise Executive Director Nicole Barren says advocates already call on victims after they receive incident reports, but that is typically a day or two later.

“That’s kind of too late for some victims. They might already be into the reconciliation phase where they’re kind of making up with their abuser, and ready to believe his excuses and ready to give it another shot. So, we believe that by co-responding to the calls, we might be reaching the victims when they’re at that critical point, when they’re ready to leave the relationship and ready to seek services,” says Barren.

Rise offers shelter, counseling, legal education and can connect victims with other community resources.

JC Police Chief Brett Dodge says domestic violence calls can be volatile situations for officers and it can be frustrating for them to return to the same address over and over.

“It takes a toll on the officers too seeing the impact that the domestic violence has on not only the victim, but children that are involved in the household who are also victims. Nobody wants to see that. Everyone would like to see a lasting, permanent resolution to these problems and remove the victims from these situations,” says Dodge.

Dodge says JC Police responded to 869 domestic violence calls last year, and he says there are many other victims who don’t seek help.

Rise provided services to more than 1700 survivors in Broome County last year, with 219 staying in its shelter.

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