Local law enforcement rolls out new domestic violence initiative

policeLocal area law enforcement will be implementing a new initiative aimed at identifying victims of intimate partner violence who are at high risk of homicide or serious bodily harm.

In cooperation with the New Directions Center, Inc., and the Virginia Attorney General’s office, the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and the Staunton and Waynesboro Police Departments will begin using the Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP) to help determine if a domestic violence victim meets criteria that would suggest that their personal safety is at high risk.

The LAP program, which was developed by the Maryland Network to End Domestic Violence in 2005, is an evidence-based program that provides a simple and effective method for law enforcement personnel to identify victims of violence who are at the highest risk for homicide or serious bodily harm perpetrated by intimate partners. Once identified, these high risk victims will be immediately connected with New Directions to provide the fastest possible access to case-specific services. Law enforcement officers from all three agencies recently completed LAP training and will begin using this new tool on October 16 in an effort to better protect our citizens.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and your law enforcement agencies are honored to partner with New Directions and the Attorney General’s Office to do all we can to protect the victims of this serious crime.

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