PHOENIX, AZ (July 17, 2013) – Arizona law enforcement and criminal justice professionals are partnering to improve the way they investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence and child abuse at a series of specialized training events presented by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Featuring nationally recognized experts and experienced County prosecutors, the training sessions address topics including domestic violence strangulation, forensic interview techniques, and best practices for investigating child sex abuse. To date, roughly a thousand representatives from more than sixty agencies throughout the state have attended the sessions.
“These training events underscore my commitment to strengthen efforts to achieve justice for victims of domestic violence and child abuse in partnership with Arizona law enforcement agencies and fellow prosecutors,” said Maricopa County Bill Montgomery. “These crimes pose unique challenges which require a specialized approach.”
At the MCAO’s most recent session, held last month, more than 300 attendees received training on how to handle domestic violence strangulation cases. The session was a joint presentation with Scottsdale Healthcare, which recently partnered with the MCAO to develop its nationally recognized Strangulation Program. Participants were educated on the latest techniques for investigating allegations of domestic violence strangulation and documenting evidence against suspected offenders. Since launching the Strangulation Program in 2012, the County Attorney’s Office has more than quadrupled the prosecution rate of cases involving an allegation of strangulation.
In addition to offering specialized training, the MCAO is leading efforts to revise and update the County’s Multidisciplinary Protocol for the Investigation of Child Abuse, an official guide for coordinating an interagency response to allegations of child abuse and other crimes perpetrated against children. Due to Governor Brewer’s appointment of County Attorney Bill Montgomery as Chair of the Child Safety Task Force, the MCAO has been able to participate in the creation of the Office of Child Welfare Investigations within the Department of Economic Security to investigate cases of suspected child abuse.
“I am confident that the multiple initiatives we are pursuing to address domestic violence and crimes against children will enable our criminal justice system to hold more offenders accountable and prevent additional suffering for victims, particularly women and children,” Montgomery said.