Chief Chris Connally said through the end of September this year, there were 1,400 total assaults reported. Of those, he said more than 1,000 were domestic related. Connally said assaults saw a spike in June and July.
“When we went to Text 9-1-1 we started reaching some groups we haven’t reached in the past,” Connally said. “We’re finding that we’re getting some cases that are probably being reported that might not otherwise be reported.”
Connally said some of the text reports are coming in from children or victims who would otherwise have trouble making a phone call. As we reported, Buchanan County introduced Text 9-1-1 in 2016.
Connally said police are trying to reduce domestic violence incidents. He said the police department entered a partnership with the YWCA and the Buchanan County Prosecutor’s Office about a year ago to try to reduce the number of domestic violence issues.
“When we respond to a domestic assault it’s a questionnaire that the officer goes through and it’s scored at the end. It’s scored based on a risk assessment,” Connally said. “When it scores high, one of the things our officers do is we actually contact a resource counselor on the telephone… If the victim will take the phone call, we turn the phone over to the victim.”
Connally said they have also seen a high number of domestic violence reports in certain apartment complexes.
“The ones that are high with domestic violence calls we’ve actually gone door-to-door handing out resources as well, to try to get that information out,” Connally said.
Connally said domestic violence takes place across in all classes of society. However, he said reports may be more common in lower socioeconomic areas.
“When it comes to domestic assaults we really find it all over the scale and all age groups. I think it might be under reported in some areas,” Connally said. “It may be reported more in lower socioeconomics just because of living conditions. If you live in an apartment you have people right there that may call it in. If you live in a more affluent neighborhood and you don’t have close neighbors then you may not have the neighbor to call in the dispute when they hear something going on or see something going on.”
For information on victim services provided by the St. Joseph YWCA CLICK HERE.