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RACINE – The Racine Police Department (RPD) has partnered with four local community service agencies to assist victims of domestic violence and prevent potentially abusive situations during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

RPD announced Thursday, April 30, that a grant from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund — coordinated by the Racine Community Foundation and the United Way of Racine County — would be used to provide hotel vouchers to ensure safe shelter for domestic violence victims. Also, local law enforcement agencies will be distributing business cards and other promotional materials to residents who need crisis mitigation services.

The plan was developed during a recent strategic problem-solving meeting that included the RPD along with representatives of Bethany Apartments, Women’s Resource Center, Racine Community Foundation, and the Racine Area United Way. Although RPD reporting data through March shows that Racine has not followed the national trend of increased domestic violence, law enforcement, and community service agencies want to mitigate the issue. Wisconsin residents have been under a stay-at-home order since mid-March.

RPD reported in a news release that it continues to address domestic violence through the Community Oriented Policing approach. Local police are also using a Lethal Assessment Protocol (LAP) in which officers screen all domestic abuse victims and put them into contact with counselors who can offer immediate resources as needed.

“Local law enforcement agencies, partnered with amazing community organizations, have committed to proactively addressing the issue of domestic violence and will continue to prioritize this issue long past COVID-19,” the RPD stated.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.