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03/02/2021 04F Violence Against Women STOP Grant Application with US Department of JusticeB US INE S S O F T HE C I T Y C O UNC IL YAK I M A, WAS HI NG T O N AG E ND A S TAT E M E NT I tem No. 4.F. F or Meeting of : March 2, 2021 I T E M T IT L E :Resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign an Office of Violence A gainst Women Grant application for f unds to improve the City of Yakima response to domestic violence S UB M IT T E D B Y:Cynthia I . Martinez, Senior Assistant C ity A ttorney S UM M ARY E X P L ANAT IO N: The Office of Violence A gainst Women (O VAW ) is a component of the United S tates Department of J ustice (D O J ) to administer grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation, and provides national leadership on issues of domestic violence (D V ), dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. O VAW grants support coordinated community responses to hold offenders accountable and increase the saf ety of victims. Units of government may apply f or the grants, which means the Mayor will have to sign the grant application with the Council’s approval. T he goal of the application will be to obtain f unding for Coordinated C ommunity Response Team (C C RT ) training and a second Prosecution Division D V advocate. E ach of these requests will be discussed below. The C ouncil has previously embraced the idea of initiating a City of Yakima C oordinated Response to Domestic Violence Team (C C RT ) (Council business meeting, September 11, 2018). C C RT is a team comprised of staff who are involved with D V incidences, f rom the 911 call taker to the probation officer, who coordinate every link of the response by understanding the role of each party and developing shared goals. T he result is a transparent response that can be understood, examined, and improved. O nce this result is achieved, the circle of responders is enlarged to include other agencies, community, and f aith based groups. We are seeking grant f unds to provide training to a C ity of Yakima C C RT. I n 2020, crimes of domestic violence comprised 29% of the City of Yakima prosecution caseload, or 886 cases. T his percentage is high when compared with other communities in the state. These cases take the most resources in the Division because the stakes are high for the victim and the defendant. W ith the exception of a few cases, most rely on the cooperation of the victim and developing a positive relationship with the victim takes time and a special skill set. Fortunately, and thanks to the initiative of the City Council, the Prosecution Unit now has a D V advocate on staf f . T he D V advocate, Maria R osales, has improved our victim outreach. Her bilingual skills ensure that we are reaching most of our victim population. 1 A t any given time we have 250 domestic violence cases pending. Ms. R osales performs the f ollowing tasks for those cases: a) Provide support and case management to D V victims during criminal proceedings; b) Assess and address victims’ safety needs and other concerns related to prosecution; c) Provide crisis support and ongoing safety planning; d) Explain legal processes, options and potential outcomes to DV victims; e) Work cooperatively with community-based DV advocates and advocacy programs; f) Convey DV victim input to all system-based professionals; g) E nsure victims’ rights are understood and honored (R C W 7.69.030); h) A ccompany D V victims to joint interviews, def ense interviews, and court hearings; i) Consult closely with prosecutor on victim issues and case concerns; and j) Provide advocacy for children similarly involved in the D V criminal case. T he variety and complexity of the tasks performed by our sole DV advocate mean our resources are stretched thin. In addition, she is tasked with coordinating the City of Yakima CCRT. T his project will take time, especially initially, and will impact her ability to perform advocacy. We will seek grant funds to add a second Domestic Violence Advocate to the Prosecution Division staff. T he Grant application is due the end of March and decisions are announced by October 1, 2021. For Council’s consideration is a resolution that will authorize the Mayor to sign a letter of intent, the grant application, and any other documents required for the Grant. I T E M B UD G E T E D:NA S T RAT E G I C P RIO RIT Y:P ublic Safety AP P RO V E D F O R S UB M I T TAL B Y T HE C IT Y M ANAG E R RE C O M M E ND AT IO N: A dopt resolution. AT TAC HM E NT S: D escr iption Upload D ate Type Res-OVAW Grant Application 2/18/2021 Resolution 2 RESOLUTION NO. R-2021- A RESOLUTION authorizing the Mayor to sign documents related to an Office on Violence Against Women Grant proposal to apply for funds to improve the City of Yakima response to domestic violence. WHEREAS, the Office of Violence Against Women (OVAW) is a component of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to administer grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation, and provides national leadership on issues of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and WHEREAS, OVAW grants support coordinated community responses to hold offenders accountable and increase the safety of victims; and WHEREAS, on September 11, 2018, the Yakima City Council, after a presentation on the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) to Domestic Violence, voted unanimously to direct staff to inventory the City of Yakima response to domestic violence and to add a DV Advocate position for consideration in the 2019 budget; and WHEREAS, the City Staff has inventoried the response and believes the City would benefit from a City of Yakima CCRT; and WHEREAS, the OVAW funds CCRT training and victim services; and WHEREAS, units of local government, including the City of Yakima, are eligible to apply for such grants; now therefore, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF YAKIMA: The Yakima City Council authorizes Mayor Patricia Byers to sign documents related to an Office on Violence Against Women Grant application prepared by staff. ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL this 2nd day of March, 2021. ATTEST: Patricia Byers, Mayor Sonya Claar Tee, City Clerk 3