Yakima formalizes team to improve domestic violence response

A team created to improve the response to domestic violence incidents in Yakima was made official Tuesday by the Yakima City Council.

Over the last year, the Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team has developed a more cohesive and complete response involving law enforcement, mental health and survivor advocates and other partners, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.

"This is much more strategic and focused on intimate partner violence, a very evidence-based approach to it," Yakima police Lt. Chad Janis said.

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An agreement between the partners sets goals and holds members to confidentiality and security standards to protect victims.

The group includes the Yakima police and legal departments; Yakima YWCA; Comprehensive Health; Yakima School District; Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families; Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office; and Yakima County Probation.

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The response team meets daily to discuss new cases, response plans and provide services and safety to domestic violence survivors or victims and their children. The team also hosts a monthly meeting for long-term updates.

Measures the group has taken include starting a program to support youth; expediting intimate partner domestic violence warrants; creating a 24-hour access line for at-risk victims, implementing a three-day police follow up program, and enhancing probation response.

The Yakima Police Department’s data dashboard shows nearly 2,000 incidents of intimate partner violence recorded in Yakima since last June.