SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In response to increased intimate partner violence, Minnehaha County will pursue a $700,000 grant to be used for response to such violence.
The county commission approved on April 25 that the county would be a sub-recipient of the $700,000 grant. The state’s Attorney General’s office would apply for the grant federal grant from the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) and it would be given to Minnehaha County, said county state’s attorney Daniel Haggar.
“What we’re looking to do is really improve the outcomes in the criminal justice and in prosecution on those high risk, high lethality, crimes of violence against those intimate partners,” said Haggar. Intimate partners would include what were formerly referred to as domestic violence partner crimes, Haggar said.
Commissioner Gerald Beninga asked Haggar about the growth in intimate partner violence.
“What we are seeing, these types of case are growing tremendously,” Haggar said.
Aggravated assault cases that can include very serious cases that can involve strangulation or a weapon increased to 1,000 cases from 800 in the prior year, he said.
“A lot of times we struggle to connect those victims to resources initially that they need to keep them on board with prosecution early on,” Haggar said of intimate partner violence cases.
The grant would cover three years and it expand resources to help better respond to intimate partner crimes, he said.
The grant would add one state’s attorney, a part-time investigator with the state’s attorney and continue to fund a part-time investigator with the county sheriff’s office.
The salary and benefits cost for each position is, $399,278.89 for three years for an attorney, $185,398.15 for the existing investigator with the county sheriff, and $121,900.26 for the part-time investigator for the state’s attorney’s office.
The grant could cover those costs and no county money would be needed, Haggar said.
The county sheriff’s investigator handles the early stages of an intimate partner case and the state’s attorney investigator would help with more investigation after the case is filed, Haggar said.
Haggar said one piece of the grant program is to be part of a statewide component with Pennington County to evaluate cases to determine if victims had been in contact with the judicial system before the case and areas where the counties could improve.