Iowa City is one of six law enforcement agencies selected to serve as a demonstration site as part of a national initiative to address gender bias in response to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
The initiative titled Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence, will provide up to $450,000 in dedicated resources and technical assistance to the six selected agencies, and is being carried out by The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), supported by the Office for Victims of Crime and in partnership with the National Crime Victim Law Institute.
These organizations, with the help of subject experts, will work with the Iowa City Police Department to assess agency efforts and to strengthen response and investigations of sexual assault, domestic/intimate partner violence, and stalking. In a collaborative approach, the ICPD will engage in needs assessment, strategic planning, implementation, and partnership-building while receiving ongoing training and technical assistance.
Last year, Iowa City Police officers responded to more than 700 cases of relationship-oriented crime including domestic assault, harassment and others.
“These resources will allow our department to create a better response to domestic crimes, including those committed against the LGBTQ+ community,” Iowa City Police Investigator Scott Stevens said. “Eliminating gender bias will ensure all officers are able to recognize microaggressions that come from implicit bias and understand how to address and re-work those issues.”
Watch this video to learn more about the grant the Iowa City Police Department will receive to improve the Department's response to domestic and sexual violence.
The Iowa City Police Department will also help to create strategies, tools, and models of success to serve as a guide for law enforcement agencies nationwide. Money received through the grant will be available through September 2019.
“This is a great opportunity for the ICPD to become a leader and model department in responding to domestic violence and providing victim support,” Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly said. “We look forward to using the resources and experts provided through this unique experience to their full extent.”
IACP will work with Iowa City Police to identify department strengths, raise awareness of implicit and explicit gender bias, create sustainable strategies, develop partnerships and build community trust, and implement trauma-informed, victim-focused procedures agency-wide.
This national demonstration initiative was created in response to the United States Department of Justice document designed to provide guidance to law enforcement agencies in their efforts to address and prevent gender bias in response to sexual assault and domestic violence. The document, Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement’s Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, focuses on the need for clear policies, comprehensive training, and responsive supervision protocols and accountability systems in order to effectively investigate these crimes and support victims.
The five other demonstration sites include the City of Shawnee Police Department (Oklahoma), the Clark County Sheriff’s Office (Ohio), Denton Police Department (Texas), Nampa Police Department (Idaho) and Vancouver Police Department (Washington).