PHOENIX— Starting on October 10th the Family Violence Bureau at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will begin operating as two geographically-based bureaus to more effectively serve communities across Maricopa County.
“By dedicating our attorneys to set geographical areas they are better able to form working relationships with local law enforcement, which results in greater service to victims and others impacted by family violence,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “We have worked hard to develop a standardized approach to investigating and prosecuting family violence cases. This move will contribute to our goals of reducing the amount and frequency of abuse in our community.”
By structuring the bureaus to focus on a specific geographic area, prosecutors can better identify the needs of a particular community and any issues that may need to be addressed to better serve victims. The bureaus will be able to work more closely with local police departments, family advocacy centers, shelters and child safety workers within their geographic assignments.
Family violence differs from other types of violent crimes because of the relationship between the abuser and victim and the issues that such a relationship entails. The bureau was created in 1996 to specifically focus on these crimes, which include partner abuse, child abuse and vulnerable adult abuse committed in Maricopa County.
The restructuring of the Family Violence Bureau continues a focus that MCAO put into motion in 2013 with the creation of four Community-Based Prosecution Bureaus that align assignment of many types of criminal cases to four geographic areas. This model has allowed prosecutors to build relationships with law enforcement and others, and to better understand the specific issues and types of crime that are unique to each area of the County.