The Institute for Coordinated Community Response brings free education to advocates, law enforcement, and prosecutors
The third training cohort of the Institute for Coordinated Community Response (ICCR), a program of the Conference on Crimes Against Women (CCAW), kicked off in May, offering a full year of free training, technical assistance, and networking opportunities to rural Texas counties in order to improve their collaborative response to domestic violence. Teams from seven counties are participating in this year’s cohort: Atascosa, Karnes, Kleberg, Lamar, Milam, Roberts, and Willacy.
Throughout the training year, June 2021 – May 2022, ICCR will provide quarterly in-person trainings and monthly webinars for participating and surrounding counties. All trainings and webinars are offered free of charge, and anyone invested in ending the epidemic of domestic violence in their community is encouraged to attend. Upcoming events can be found at www.InstituteCCR.org/Upcoming-Events.
One in three Texas women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime—higher than the national average of one in four—and women in rural communities are often in even more danger due to geographic isolation, lack of resources, virtually no anonymity, and other barriers to seeking help. Recognizing this, ICCR’s goal is to empower rural communities across the state to create and sustain a holistic, all-encompassing community response that works to close existing gaps in the system to provide more comprehensive support to victims of domestic violence.
In addition to receiving robust training on collaboration and domestic violence responses, the county-based teams—made up of a law enforcement officer, a prosecutor, and an advocate—will identify their communities’ unique strengths and areas for growth using Praxis International’s Best Practice Assessment, a structured process that uses case reviews to examine the impact of current policies and procedures on victims and determine what type of systemic, multi-layered approach to domestic violence may best serve their communities.
“Texas will never be a safe place until we ensure every corner of our great state has access to consistent, high-quality domestic violence training and resources,” said Jan Langbein, CEO of CCAW and Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support. “We applaud our ICCR teams for taking a stand against this epidemic and committing to looking closely at their own practices to ensure justice for victims and accountability for offenders.”
We are excited to work with each of the below 2021 ICCR team members, and look forward to seeing their progress towards eradicating domestic violence:
- Atascosa County: Jessi Chia, Patrol Sgt., Pleasanton Police Department; Audrey Louis, District Attorney, Bradlee Thornton, Asst. District Attorney, and Katie Quinney, Victim Assistance Coordinator, 81st District Attorney’s Office; and Rhonda Williamson, Executive Director, Safer Path Family Violence Shelter
- Karnes County: Raul Ramirez, Investigator, Karnes County Sheriff’s Office; Paul Mullen, Assistant County Attorney, and Ariel Salas, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Karnes County Attorney’s Office; and Jennifer Fernandez, Executive Director, Guadalupe Valley Family Violence Shelter
- Kleberg County: Toma Pittman, Lieutenant, Kingsville Police Department; J. Dean Craig, Assistant County Attorney, Kleberg County Attorney’s Office; Jennifer Radcliffe-Jones, Victim Advocate, The Purple Door
- Lamar County: David Whitaker, Detective, Paris Police Department; Ben Kaminar, Assistant County & District Attorney, Lamar County & District Attorney’s Office; Sheana Johnson, Community Response Coordinator, SAFE-T Crisis Center
- Milam County: Jerry Meadors, Chief of Police, Rockdale Police Department; Brian Price, Assistant District Attorney, Milam County District Attorney’s Office; Susan De La Rosa, Crime Victim Coordinator, Milam County District Attorney’s Office
- Roberts County: Christopher Homen, Sergeant, Roberts County Sheriff’s Office; William Weiman, County Attorney, Roberts County Attorney’s Office; Renee Alexander-Tyler, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Roberts County Victim Assistance; Renita Cortez, Legal Advocate, Tralee Crisis Center
- Willacy County: Denise Ledesma Gomez, Detective, Raymondville Police Department; Annette Hinojosa, Willacy County & District Attorney; Ruby Conner, Outreach Advocate, Family Crisis Center