A program that helps law enforcement identify people at high risk of domestic violence is expanding in Tennessee. The Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP), in collaboration with the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA), today announced that Fayette Cares was among three domestic violence service providers that are the newest to receive federal approval for using a tool called the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) – Maryland Model.
Tennessee has historically ranked in the top 15 in the nation for domestic violence incidents. “Gov. Haslam’s Public Safety Plan launched an intense effort to end domestic violence,” OCJP Director Jennifer Brinkman said. “Many domestic violence related homicides are preventable if we just recognize the signs and take action immediately. The LAP program helps law enforcement investigators and victim advocates make sometimes difficult decisions that will help keep victims safe and provide critical follow-up services.”
The approved agencies, which join 17 domestic violence service providers and 31 law enforcement agencies already utilizing LAP in Tennessee, represent each region of the state:
- Fayette Cares in Somerville, TN (west)
- Home Safe in Hendersonville, TN (middle)
- Helen Ross McNabb Center in Oak Ridge, TN (east)
Fayette Cares has partnered with the Somerville Police Department to develop the first law enforcement LAP collaboration in Fayette County. Created by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence in 2005, LAP is a strategy to prevent domestic violence homicides and serious injuries. LAP consists of standardized questions with independent predictors to help officers evaluate the risk of imminent harm to a victim in an intimate partner domestic dispute. When the criteria are met overall, the victim will be immediately connected with a 24-hour Fayette Cares LAP Call Specialist.
Fayette Cares will be recruiting volunteers to assists as LAP Call Specialists. To learn more about the program or to get involved, call Alexandra Porto at (901) 465-3802 x 221 or submit a volunteer application online at FayetteCares.org/Volunteer-Application.