Monroe County officials are working in partnership to decrease domestic violence. The Protective Order Assistance Partnership is a collaboration between prosecutors, advocates, law enforcement and county clerks.
The idea is to involve all of the parties needed to file, grant, and enforce a domestic violence protection order. The partnership has increased the number of protection orders granted in Monroe County from 54 percent of those requested in 2011 to 89 percent now.
But the process is still complicated and Indiana State Police Detective Kevin Getz says people can get frustrated.
“Law enforcement is just the beginning phase of the judicial process,” says Getz. “We are called to investigate a crime and that we work hand in hand with the prosecutor’s office and we work hand in hand with a victim’s rights advocate, and in some cases, if children are involved we work hand in hand with the department of child services. And eventually as the case goes through the system we work with the courts. So I can certainly see why there would be frustration.”
Although the petitioning forms for protective orders are long, Monroe County Civil Court Judge Francie Hill says it’s important for victims to include as much detail as possible.
“You’re working through a form that gives a lot of information to the judge,” says Hill. “Any information you fail to give to the judge, the judge can’t consider either in determining what kind of relief you need, whether a hearing is needed, and how quickly we can respond.”
Once a protection order is filed and granted, enforcement is much more efficient now that Indiana has a statewide online registry. It gives officers instantaneous information about a protection order including the names of people involved and history of the case.