HPD receives V-STOP grant to fund detective position focused on violence against women

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The Harrisonburg Police Department has once again received a V-STOP grant. The grant is part of Virginia STOP/Violence Against Women's Act.

The V-STOP grant is federally funded and must be reapplied-for every three years.

It provides for a full-time detective position focused on violent crimes against women in Harrisonburg. Those crimes include domestic violence or sexual assault.

"In those types of incidences and incidents, the expertise helps in really knowing how the system works and how to help it benefit the victim," said Sergeant Phillip Read. "And that's what we truly want, is to help benefit the victim."

Sergeant Read believes about half of all charges involved in crimes against women are among the student population.

Domestic violence numbers in particular are steadily decreasing.

In 2016, Harrisonburg police received 404 domestic violence related calls for-service, as compared to 399 in 2017 and 315 in 2018.

"If any family friend, relative, has any types of activities that seem to be disturbing or that need further attention, come knock on our door. We are here to help," said Sergeant Read.

The V-STOP detective not only investigates crimes against women, but works to connect survivors with advocacy resources in the community.

This renewal of the V-STOP grant funds that detective position through the year 2021.