County receives funds to fight abuse

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Special to the Journal

Gov. Bob Riley has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Crenshaw County Commission to continue the battle against domestic violence.

The commission will use the grant to fund the county's domestic violence unit. The unit, an arm of the county Sheriff's Office, investigates domestic violence cases and assists with the prosecution of offenders.

"Crenshaw County is sending the message that domestic violence is a despicable crime that cannot be tolerated," Riley said. "I commend the efforts of officials to put offenders behind bars and help victims attain the justice they deserve."

"We are delighted that our governor has seen fit to award this grant to establish a domestic violence unit in the Crenshaw County Sheriff's office," said Ann Tate, chairperson of the county's Domestic Violence Task Force. " This is a major step for our community.

The unit's lead investigator, who will receive specialized training, will play a critical role in reducing the incidents of domestic violence in the lives of adults and children in Crenshaw County.

A specially trained investigator with the unit assists area law enforcement and court officials in gathering evidence in domestic violence cases. The unit also works with related service agencies to assist victims with emergency shelter, counseling and medical needs. Educational programs provided by the unit are designed to increase community awareness of the impact and consequences of domestic abuse.

Riley awarded the grant from funds made available to the state through a program of the U.S. Department of Justice.

He has designated the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to administer the grant.

Bill Johnson, ADECA acting director, notified Ronnie Blackmon, commission chairman, that the grant had been approved. Local matching funds of $6,700 will supplement the grant.