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CO Police Commander to Bring Home New Ways to Fight Domestic Violence

May 20, 2008

San Francisco, CA - A Colorado police commander is one of two dozen nationwide selected to lead in a new approach to understanding and working against domestic violence. Commander Bill Leonard of Craig in northwestern Colorado is being trained in a new approach to acting against domestic violence, and proponents hope his police department will pave the way for similar efforts around the country.

The four-day Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women wraps up Wednesday in San Francisco. It's sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and John Furman with the IACP says the goal is to get law enforcement leaders to better understand and identify crimes like domestic violence.

"The goal is learning about patterns of domestic violence and abuse and how abusers can hide what they do."

Furman says the training could make a big difference in recognizing certain crimes against women, such as human trafficking, which can often look like simple prostitution.

He says the goal of the institute is to present law enforcement leaders with a vision for fighting violence against women through a better understanding of the problem.

"I think that this message that these people, these chiefs, take back to their jurisdictions is going to spread."

Furman says the police attending will also be trained in recognizing and responding to cases of stalking, human trafficking and sexual assault. He says the goal is having officers like Commander Leonard assume leadership roles in their home states.

Eric Mack/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - CO