City News

Entries for July 2013

02
Statesville Police take active role in working to fight domestic violence.

For several months now, a diverse and committed group of Iredell County citizens has been meeting regularly to create a plan that will reduce domestic violence in their community. The table around which they have gathered has grown as interest in the project has spread to include law enforcement, court officials, service providers, faith-based organizations, government agencies, interested citizens and even victims themselves.

Sgt. Dan Miglin with the Statesville Police Department is overseeing the task force for now, but feels fortunate to be surrounded by so many passionate individuals, all working to develop a coordinated response when dealing with domestic violence issues. “It is a team effort because each member brings something different to the table,” explained Miglin. “We are listening to each other and beginning to open up about how we can improve the procedures and protocols used in responding to cases of domestic abuse.”

Miglin hopes to announce in the next several weeks that the Statesville Police Department will receive a two-year grant to hire a full-time Domestic Violence Specialist officer and provide advanced related training for his officers. Currently, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department has the only law enforcement officer exclusively assigned to domestic violence cases. If awarded, a co-recipient of the grant will be My Sister’s House, the county’s only battered women’s shelter.

Patti West, Executive Director of Fifth Street Ministries, which operates My Sister’s House, has been around long enough to serve on similar committees in the past. “This group has a good feel to it,” said West. “I am very aware that every law enforcement agency in the County is participating and that the commitment to make a difference is growing. Domestic violence is not just another crime in our community. It is a serious, serious issue with more than 1,000 cases investigated in Iredell County last year alone. It affects our families, our schools, our workplaces and only through a collaborative effort can we make changes.”

The road from an act of domestic abuse to the conviction of the abuser can be long and complex, explained Miglin. But with judges, district attorneys, counselors, court advocates, magistrates, preachers and specialists in this area sitting down together, “our primary mission is to establish a procedure that we all use … that from the moment a woman calls 911 to report abuse, we are all on the same page,” stressed Miglin.

Many around the table know that each case is different. Cindy Hollar, a Deputy Clerk dedicated to domestic violence cases in the Iredell County courts, has seen it all. “But I have hope that if we (members of the ICDVTF) are honest with each other, we can each take responsibility for improving the system.”
It is a system that has already seen 84 domestic assaults on a female reported in Statesville since January. “We don’t have all the answers, but we’re eager to work on them together,” said Miglin.

District Court Judge Deborah Brown, an active member of the task force, is involved in developing a speaker’s bureau to make presentations throughout the area. “It will also be important that the task force participates in community forums and debates to give these issues a voice,” said Brown.

For more information on the ICDVTF, contact Miglin at 704-878-3406 or email dmiglin@statesvillenc.net.

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01
Interim Chief Dennis A. Hutchens, 57, has been appointed by Statesville City Manager Larry Pressley to fill the position left vacant by the retirement of Chief David Bullins earlier this year.

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Nancy Davis
Public Affairs Director
704-878-3586
email Nancy