In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), we are highlighting innovative responses to domestic violence and community efforts of three police departments. The third agency to be highlighted is the Apache Junction Police Department (Arizona).
Every year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Apache Junction Police Department takes part in a candlelight vigil to remember those who have been lost to domestic violence. The department members stand in solidarity with community members to support families and friends of victims. As part of the ceremony, speakers will present information on the realities of domestic violence and raise awareness about the crime.
This year, Apache Junction Police Chief Tom Kelly will serve as emcee of the event. Dr. Neil Websdale, Director of the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative and professor at Northern Arizona University, will speak at the ceremony as well as the mayor and city council members. In addition to the speakers, the vigil will include cut-out silhouettes representing individuals lost to domestic violence. At the end of the program, the names of those lost in Apache junction and Pinal County (Arizona) will be read out loud and there will a moment of silence.
To promote awareness throughout the month, the department will decorate trees in front of the police station and city hall with purple ribbons.
For more information about the Apache Junction Police Department’s DVAM efforts, contact Chief Thomas E. Kelly at tkelly@AJCity.Net. Chief Kelly is a graduate of the IACP National Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women. For more information on IACP training opportunities and resources on violence against women visit http://www.iacp.org/Violence-Against-Women.