Clark County Sheriff’s Office recognized for work toward domestic violence prevention, response

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office and its Intimate Crimes Unit were nationally recognized by a nonprofit committed to preventing domestic violence.

Theresa’s Fund, an Arizona-based organization, awarded Sgt. Denise Jones with the Purple Ribbon Award for Law Enforcement Partner of the Year in a virtual ceremony last week.

The Purple Ribbon Award recognizes agencies and individuals working to prevent domestic violence in their communities. Entries were judged by a national panel of professionals from the domestic violence field, and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Jones were nominated by Project Woman, Springfield’s domestic violence shelter.

Jones, who has been in law enforcement since 2000, now oversees the Intimate Crimes Unit and serves as the department’s LGBTQ+ liaison. Jones also consults for both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Department of Justice regarding intimate partner and LGBTQ+ issues.

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“I work with some of the most amazing humans I’ve ever run across and the mere fact they feel the job I do deserves recognition is so humbling and I am beyond appreciative,” Jones said.” I hope to continue this work and improve the overall education of law enforcement and our response to these types of crimes.”

Jones said she was grateful to Project Woman for nominating her.

“Project Woman and Clark County are fortunate that our sheriff’s office is so clearly invested in using best practices to respond to these crimes and committed to developing a community-wide approach to ending domestic violence and sexual assault,” executive director Laura Baxter said in a statement.

Jones was also last year’s recipient of Project Woman’s Chrysalis Award, which honors those who have done outstanding advocacy work on behalf of survivors of domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence.

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The recognition from Theresa’s Fund also nods to Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett for her work in creating the Intimate Crimes Unit in 2017 with funding from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, according to a Project Woman statement.

“We wanted to create a more coordinated community response to the crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking to increase the likelihood of prosecution, conviction and sentencing,” Burchett said.

International Association of Chiefs of Police funding paid for trauma-informed response training for Burchett’s entire staff. Using this training, Jones and her team developed a domestic violence response protocol that treats survivors with respect, uses interview methods that encourage participation and makes referrals to other agencies, such as Project Woman.

Theresa’s Fund started in 1992 to support domestic violence services in its home state through grantmaking, board development and fundraising. In 2014, it developed DomesticShelters.org, the first online, searchable database of programs, shelters, and resources.

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