By Michael Horgan
The Hyde Park Police are getting state funds to fight domestic abuse.
The $50,000 grant from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) will help local law enforcement officials create a Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) that will work with established programs throughout Dutchess County to target domestic violence.
The grant is part of Operation IMPACT, a state initiative that supports strategic crime-fighting and violence reduction resources in the 17 counties outside of New York City that account for 80 percent of crime upstate and on Long Island.
“We are pleased to be able to use this money to partner with existing programs within Dutchess County to offer another level of service to victims of domestic violence incidents within the Town of Hyde Park,” Chief of Police Eric Paolilli told the Observer.
“Having a dedicated individual will greatly enhance not only our ability to successfully apprehend and prosecute domestic violence violations, but it makes it possible for the police department to be able to refer victims to this resource so that needed services and follow-up are immediately made available,” he added.
According to a report by the County Legislature’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence released in Oct. 2013, Hyde Park had 100 reported incidents of domestic violence last year up to the end of September. There were 204 incidents reported in 2012; and a landmark 300 cases in 2011. At least one case since 2010 was determined to be at high risk for domestic abuse-related death, by the county’s High Risk Multidisciplinary Team.
The report also noted that emergency calls to 911 on domestic abuse averaged almost 10 a day county-wide in 2012. The report said, however, “Walk-in reports made directly to a police department are not counted in these statistics nor are 15 calls made directly to local police agencies, the Sheriff’s Department or the New York State Police. In reality, many incidents are not reported to any agency.”