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Law enforcers mull countywide plan to fight domestic violence

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CANTON — Law enforcement from all over St. Lawrence County came to the Best Western University Inn on Thursday to discuss how to fight domestic violence as a county.

“The agencies are trying to create a cohesive coordinated response for domestic violence,” said Ilene J. Burke, director of the St. Lawrence County Renewal House.

Members of her agency were at the workshop to develop relationships with law enforcement officers and show them additional resources they can offer, she said.

She said Renewal House has been very busy, and some domestic violence numbers are expected to increase.

“People are using the resources,” Ms. Burke said. “The reported incidents are going up.”

Also speaking at the workshop was a survivor of domestic violence. Organizers wished to keep her identity private.

Canton Police Chief Alan P. Mulkin said it is important to get all responders from the county to sit together in one room.

“This is the only way it works,” Chief Mulkin said.

Other issues involved were police-involved domestic violence.

Chief Mulkin said police officers need to know how to handle domestic violence should it occur in their own home, whether the officer is the aggressor or the victim.

“Domestic violence occurs at all socioeconomic levels,” Chief Mulkin said.

The event was put on as a community education day during Crime Victims Awareness Week. It was limited to supervisory law enforcement officials.

Ms. Burke said officers also were showed details of victim compensation. She said this is state money for which crime victims may apply.

She said the community must continue to be vigilant in stopping domestic abuse.

“We can’t do it alone,” Ms. Burke said.

Victims can contact the Renewal House at 379-9845.

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