PARKERSBURG Wood County commissioners on Monday approved a S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women grant application for $28,970.
The application for the grant, offered through the U.S. Department of Justice, is due Friday. If Wood County receives the grant, this will be the 15th year.
Of the total, $23,970 partially covers the salary of an assistant prosecutor who handles domestic violence cases. The required percentage match of $10,715 is provided through the prosecutor's office and sheriff's department. The prosecutor covers the assistant's benefit costs and pays the rest of her salary.
Wood County commissioners approve the application of a grant to combat domestic violence.
Meeting with the commissioners, Toni Tiano, county grant coordinator, and Lt. Jeff Hamric, domestic violence specialist with the sheriff's department, said the assistant prosecutor handles domestic violence, sexual assault, date rape, stalking and related cases.
"The other $5,000 goes to the sheriff's department where it is used for overtime for officers related to serving papers, court time relating to domestic violence cases. The $1,849 in match required for that is provided by the sheriff's department," Tiano said.
"This is a worthwhile program, domestic violence is a large problem for our community," commission President Blair Couch said.
Hamric said there have been 83 domestic violence cases in the past 31 days.
"A majority of the overtime is spent serving orders and other paperwork relating to the domestic violence cases," Hamric said. "I also do followups on domestic violence incidents and that sometimes happens in an overtime situation."
"These can be very dangerous situations, an officer was shot in Kanawha County serving in a domestic violence case," Couch said.
"I just returned from having to order someone out of their home, they were not happy," said Hamric, a 31-year veteran officer assigned to handle the domestic violence cases a year ago. "There are a lot of children involved in these cases."
Hamric said some people are not aware that a domestic violence related conviction means you cannot own a firearm for the rest of your life.
"Also, if you are under a domestic violence protection order, you cannot possess a firearm," Hamric said. After the final disposition of the order, the firearm can be returned.
Hamric said domestic violence knows no social or economic boundaries, it affects all levels of society.