New Domestic Violence Unit Introduced To Cleveland

CLEVELAND - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - Michael McGrath, Chief of the Cleveland Division of Police, today announced that a centralized domestic violence investigative unit, charged with the responsibility of investigating domestic violence and stalking violations, will operate within the Division of Police.

Detectives assigned to this unit will partner with Victim Advocates from the Cuyahoga County Department of Justice Affairs, City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Prosecutors and Municipal Court Judges to investigate and prosecute these especially violent and destructive crimes.

Detectives assigned to the Second and Fourth Police Districts, funded by a grant from the "Violence Against Women Act," participated in a pilot program to investigate domestic violence in those neighborhoods. The success of the pilot, and the commitment to enhance the program, resulted in the decision to expand the unit starting with cases originating in the Fifth District and eventually expanding citywide by the fall of 2007. "The centralization of domestic violence investigations under the Bureau of Special Investigations," stated Chief McGrath, "honors a long-standing Department of Public Safety commitment that the Division of Police vigorously investigate and prosecute these crimes. The team approach being utilized will facilitate the prosecution of suspects and the assistance of victims."

The consolidation of domestic violence and stalking investigations under a centralized unit is one of a number of changes being implemented in the Division of Police aimed at making the Division more responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens of Cleveland.