WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
Colonial Community Corrections, a division of the James City County Police Department, has earned a $450,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Justice to support sexual assault prevention initiatives.
The division, which works to enhance safety through its alternatives to adult incarceration and transitional services, will partner with local public safety agencies to achieve the goals of the grant, which include hiring personnel who specialize in domestic violence cases and planning a crimes against women conference.
Colonial Community Corrections will use the grant funds to enhance its monitoring of high-risk domestic violence defendants and probationers, as well as hire a part-time probation officer and a part-time pretrial officer.
Partnering agencies, including the Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Avalon – A Center for Women and Children and the Williamsburg-James City County Victim/Witness Assistance Program, will all be able to make hires ranging from victim advocates to court-certified interpreters.
Stephanie Williams, a spokeswoman for the James City County Police Department, wrote in an email to WYDaily that another grant goal is to engage the College of William & Mary Police Department in training efforts related to crimes against women.
The school is one of 55 universities investigated last year for potential violations of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex at schools that receive federal funding. The school has since opened a center for advocacy and support called The Haven, hired a Title IX investigator and launched a new Title IX website.
Lt. Donald Butler with the College of William & Mary Police Department said officers are interested in participating in the training, adding that one of Police Chief Deborah Cheesebro’s goals is to have the entire department trained in sexual assault investigations.
“We have done many, many hours of that training and will continue to do it,” Butler said. “Just the fact that people are well-trained and responding to that type of incident, and hopefully in the prevention of that type of incident…is very important.”