JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) The Jacksonville Police Department will be joining forces with other law enforcement agencies community-wide to implement a tool to reduce domestic violence in our community and aboard area military bases.
The Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) gives law enforcement a research-based checklist of factors to consider when responding to a domestic violence incident.
If an officer determines a victim is at risk of injury or death after an 11-step questionnaire, the officer will immediately connect that victim to a local domestic violence service provider for support.
Law Enforcement leaders from Jacksonville Police, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, Swansboro, and Richlands along with representatives of the Onslow Women’s Center met today to participate in a signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding for all to utilize the Lethality Assessment Program in domestic violence calls for police services.
“The LAP provides the right tools by not only giving first responders a quick and accurate way to assess a victim’s risk for further violence but also by teaching them how to effectively communicate this danger to the victim,” said Police Chief Mike Yaniero.
Plans are in place for police departments from Surf City, North Topsail Beach and Holly Ridge as well as MCB Camp Lejeune Provost Marshalls Office to join in the MOU as well.
Training in the LAP will begin soon.
The Jacksonville Police Department joins other law enforcement agencies across the state by implementing the Lethality Assessment Program as a part of the NC Attorney General’s statewide initiative.
According to the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there were 56 Domestic Violence Homicides statewide in 2019, one of which was in the City of Jacksonville.
Their goal is to be the first in North Carolina to implement the Lethality Assessment Program countywide to provide the same service to every victim of Domestic Violence in our community.