FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2019
SafeNest and LVMPD Collaboration Proves Successful in Decreasing Domestic Violence Calls and Homicides
Partners Announce Additional Program Support from Raiders and Expansion Plans for Project Safe 417
LAS VEGAS – SafeNest and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) today announced a decrease in domestic violence-related calls and homicides since implementing Project Safe 417 (PS417), a pilot program launched in December 2017 at the Northwest Area Command Center (NWAC).
Named after LVMPD’s code for domestic violence patrol call, PS417 was designed to bridge the gap between when LVMPD officers respond to a call to the time when a victim/ survivor receives crisis services, advocacy and support.
“We are beyond amazed at the success to date of PS417,” said Liz Ortenburger, CEO, SafeNest. “This unique partnership gives SafeNest the opportunity to provide immediate support and help to the victim, while Metro officers focus on the suspect and the investigation.”
Upon receiving the initial call for help, LVMPD alerts SafeNest’s 24/7 crisis hotline to request PS417 volunteer support. PS417 crisis advocates are trained SafeNest volunteers who work in pairs and are supported by the on-scene officers.
To date, SafeNest volunteer crisis advocates have responded to 327 PS417 calls and provided 615 hours of direct client service. NWAC data reveals that 92 percent of the time there were no recurring reports of domestic violence when a PS417 volunteer crisis advocate was utilized.
“Northwest Area Command had six domestic violence-related homicides in 2017,” said LVMPD Captain Sasha Larkin. “In 2018, we had zero domestic violence-related homicides associated with any victim who either reported abuse or had previous contact with officers at the Northwest Area Command. We absolutely attribute this to the implementation of PS417.”
NWAC reports a 3.5 percent decrease in domestic violence calls and a 20 percent increase in arrests for battery-related domestic violence since the launch of PS417.
“Domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic lines, has no cultural barriers, does not discriminate against age or sexual orientation and is completely color blind,” continued Captain Larkin. “This means the strategy to end domestic violence must be collaborative, consistent and have a true awareness of the victim’s needs.”
In addition to NWAC, PS417 now operates in Spring Valley and Bolden, operating daily from 5pm-1am. SafeNest and LVMPD are looking to expand PS417 citywide by May 2020. The expansion calls for an additional 250 new volunteers and will be funded in part by the Raiders, who today presented SafeNest with a $20,000 grant in support of PS417.
All SafeNest volunteers must complete 26.5 hours of mandatory Domestic Violence Core Advocacy training. PS417 crisis advocate volunteers must complete an additional six hours of specialized, trauma-informed training and commit to a minimum of two 4-hour shifts per month.
“Our thanks go out to the Raiders for helping fund this important initiative,” said Ortenburger. “We welcome their support of PS417 and applaud the team’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards domestic violence.”
Members of the community interested in becoming a PS417 volunteer crisis advocate are invited to attend SafeNest’s next Volunteer Orientation sessions, scheduled for February 9 and 12. For more information and/or to register, go to www.safenest.org.
Established in 1977, SafeNest is Nevada’s largest and most comprehensive non-profit agency devoted ending domestic violence homicides in Clark County. Serving approximately 50,000 people annually, SafeNest’s programs include a 24-hour confidential shelter and hotline, counseling, court assistance and prevention education.
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