Arlington Police Department Recognized with Texas Municipal League Award
By Arlington Police Department
Posted on October 05, 2016, October 05, 2016

Texas Municipal League Award

Deputy City Manager Gilbert Perales, Councilman Michael Glaspie, Councilman Robert Rivera, Councilwoman Victoria Farrar-Myers, Councilwoman Kathryn Wilemon, and Councilwoman Lana Wolff were joined by team members of the Arlington Police Department to receive a prestigious Texas Municipal League Award.

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, the Arlington Police Department was presented with the 2016 Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Award for Project "RAISE" (Risk Assessment Intervention Safety Engagement) in the Public Safety category. The project consists of a multidisciplinary team of social service, community and criminal justice agencies partnering together to focus on addressing the issues that repeat family victims face by offering a support system to help develop a safe and healthy climate for them. The award was presented during the Opening General Session at the Texas Municipal League Conference and Exhibition in Austin, Texas.

In August of 2015, the Arlington Police Department initiated a pilot program that focused on methods to reduce family violence cases, aid in the reduction of resource hours being utilized on domestic violence calls for service and reduce the incidence of having to respond to repeat locations. Key components of the program included more effective documentation and analysis of repeat domestic violence call locations. The pilot program operated from August 2015 to December 2015. On a monthly basis, the multidisciplinary team which consists of representatives from approximately ten different agencies discuss cases and offer services to repeat domestic violence victims. Detectives also attend the meetings at the request of the counselors to provide case updates and prioritize case assignments and investigations. Additionally, investigators provide arrest warrants to the fugitive unit for suspects and coordinate protective order follow-ups on repeat locations and case dispositions with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office.

Arrests made by law enforcement are not enough to deter repeat cycles of family violence. Awareness of these ongoing situations provide an opportunity to intervene before further violence occurs. The program effectively creates an environment where families can receive multiple layers of assistance that is available. In the end, families coupled with the community and the police department have all benefited from Project RAISE. By receiving assistance from the many social service organizations, families are able to receive adequate resources to prevent repeat domestic occurrences. Police legitimacy is also enhanced through the building of trust and advocacy efforts that licensed counselors employed by the police department provide when responding to their home.

"This is an amazing initiative that looks for innovative ways to stop the cycle of violence that is prevalent during many family violence situations," said Police Chief Will Johnson. "The program has proven to be essential in providing the proper support and guidance for these families as they seek healing." After the initial pilot project and evaluation period of Project RAISE, the program has been fully implemented throughout the city.

Several dignitaries and City Council members were in attendance at today's award ceremony in Austin.

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