The town council approved a contract last week with the Governor's Office of Children, Youth and Families (GOCYF) to accept a grant award that extends services for the Prescott Valley Police Department's Family Violence Unit (FVU), to include additional personnel.
The money will provide for the salary and benefits of one full-time detective, one full-time community service officer, and one part-time administrative specialist. The grant also will help towards travel and training expenses, equipment, program materials and supplies.
"We are taking a very proactive role," Det. James Tobin said regarding the department's goal of reducing domestic violence.
The FVU responds to and follows up on misdemeanor and felony offenses committed in domestic relationships. All domestic cases investigated by the FVU are reviewed for prior domestic violence history and to identify potentially volatile situations, according to the police department's Web site. This information is shared with the prosecutors and judges to assist with sentencing and probation decisions.
The FVU works closely with victim witness and other service organizations benefiting victims of domestic violence. In addition, the unit offers classes to officers, educators, health care workers, community members, and the Citizen Police Academy to provide them the tools to recognize, understand, and work with people involved in domestic violence situations.
This specialized unit was created in 2009 through a previous three-year (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant federal STOP grant award.
The goal of the STOP program is to encourage states to develop a multidisciplinary partnership between courts, victim advocates, service providers, prosecution and law enforcement in efforts to reduce violent crimes against women.
GOCYF will provide funding in the amount of $145,165; the STOP formula grant program may not cover more than 75 percent of the total costs of the project. The town will be required to match $48,389.
The approved STOP grant funding is a one-year contract that may be renewable for two additional one-year periods, as funds remain available.
The town council also approved a construction contract from Timberline Concrete of Prescott Valley for more than $21,650 to build a sidewalk at the Old Town Park, off of Robert Road.
In 2007, the council authorized the use of town property for Old Town Park. In cooperation with the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce, the town was awarded a $50,000 Arizona Office of Tourism grant and $7,000 in contributions from the Old Town Committee that would provide for a portion of the site development and its associated park facilities, according to a town report.
Construction on the Old Town Park sidewalk will begin in March.