Attorney General announces programs to combat domestic violence |

Attorney General announces programs to combat domestic violence

Staff report

In 2005, 18 people died in Nevada as a result of domestic violence.

Among them was Carson City’s Shelly Hachenberger, gunned down by her estranged boyfriend on July 20, 2005, in her Hawaii Circle home.

On Thursday, Hachenberger’s story, along with the stories of Nevada’s 17 other victims, were printed on T-shirts that flapped on a clothesline amid of a sea of purple memorial flags outside the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. Each flag represented 100 of the 38,297 people who sought assistance from domestic violence programs in Nevada during 2006.

During a press conference Thursday, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced the implementation of two statewide programs to address domestic violence.

“Addressing the issue of Domestic Violence in Nevada is one of my top priorities as our state’s Attorney General and working with law enforcement and prosecutors is key to offender accountability,” she said. “These two programs are important because they are giving valuable information to our state law enforcement and prosecutors on how to best handle cases of domestic violence.”

As part of the law enforcement program, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office is sending out 300 training CDs to be used by more than 16,000 law enforcement officials from across the state.

The disc is an interactive training CD entitled “Domestic Violence & Elder Abuse Investigations” which was put together through a collaborative effort between the Attorney General’s Office and the Nevada Commission on Peace Officer’s Standards and Training.

“The problem most prosecutors face in a domestic violence case is that most of the time, the victim will end up recanting his or her story, so the prosecutor needs to rely on physical evidence that a crime has been committed and prosecutors rely on the responding law enforcement officers to provide that evidence,” said Kareen Prentice, Nevada’s Domestic Violence ombudsman. “This training CD will assist law enforcement officers and those who complete it will also receive POST credits toward their annual certification requirements.”

The second program is aimed at helping Nevada district attorneys prosecute domestic violence cases.

In 2004 the Prosecution Advisory Council initiated the Nevada Domestic Violence Prosecution “Best Practices Project,” which utilized federal grant money to survey current prosecution practices and develop a statewide set of “best practices” to enhance victim safety and offender accountability.

Henderson, Churchill, Eureka, Humboldt, Lincoln and White Pine counties are now building “Best Practices” into their current infrastructure.