FORT SMITH, Ark. — October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, and on Wednesday (Oct. 21), the Crisis Intervention Center in Fort Smith made a big announcement to help in their fight against domestic abuse.
The Fort Smith Police Department and the Crisis intervention Center are teaming up to make a difference together. The center will now have on-site officers to help the victims get the immediate help that they need.
The Fort Smith Police Department has had a domestic violence specialized team for around two years. And in those two years, they’ve worked hand-in-hand with the center. Now, some of those officers will be bringing the skills they learned through the center into the center.
At the center, Penni Burns told 5NEWS domestic violence calls are very high in Sebastian County. Domestic violence response officers will now have remote offices at the center. It's a new way to help fix the problem and give victims access to the resources they need.
“People need to know that we are leading the charge in the Fort Smith area for victim rights. So by having the officer directly here, I’m confident that reporting will increase and we will be able to get violent offenders out of our community, “said Burns.
The officers will be moving into the center soon, but they are coming to the center for calls until then.
The center hopes to set an example and get many other police forces trained and involved with domestic violence.