CANTON, OH (WOIO) - Canton Police are cracking down on domestic violence offenders.
This January, they kicked off a new program, assigning a domestic violence initiative coordinator who works on the nearly 1,100 reports they receive each year. Patrolman Jason Staten is that man.
"I hope the victims are feeling safe and they're happy with what we're doing. I hope they continue to call us if they need us," said Staten.
He's been working with Canton PD for years, and under this role, he's getting help from other officers on every shift. The volunteers, 14 in all, will assist in domestic violence cases.
"They will assist with followups, getting additional statements, photographs, pretty much everything Officer Staten needs them to do," said Lt. Dennis Garren. "They are available on the shift, with maybe some additional training so they can help officers if they have any questions."
They're also getting the message across, that they won't tolerate domestic violence in the city. Pamphlets warn offenders that officers will be stopping by and following up on cases. They're also aiming to get suspects before judges more quickly, to minimize the time the alleged abuser has to further victimize his or her partner.
Overall, crime is down in Canton. That includes property crime and violent crime, except in the case of domestic violence. That's part of the reason they're taking this so seriously.
"It causes mental stress on the victim, it causes mental stress if there's children in the house, so it carries over. It's not just the incident in itself," said Lt. Staten.
If you are in an abusive situation and need help, call the non-emergency line at Canton PD.