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CCPD starts program to assist domestic violence victims

By Staff | Oct 3, 2019

The Cape Coral Police Department on Thursday announced a program designed to provide another layer of protection to victims of domestic violence and put their abusers behind bars should they continue to offend.

CCPD Chief David Newlan, Mayor Joe Coviello and others appeared at a news conference at police headquarters to announce a partnership with Ring, a company that makes video doorbells, for a program designed to catch abusers who are breaking restraining orders to stay away from their victims.

Newlan said the Domestic Violence Camera Program will be deployed to domestic violence victims for their safety.

“Over a year ago, we worked in collaboration with Ring with a neighbors app to communicate with fellow citizens on other crimes, which has helped reduce property crime by 19 percent and violent crime by 14 percent so far this year,” Newlan said.

A murder-suicide two years ago led the department to think about how they can help victims, relieve anxiety and give them a tool to provide a sense of safety.

The camera would be free of charge, but those receiving them would have to install the unit themselves. Any person violating that injunction by showing up at their home would be in violation, and arrested.

“We are hoping this program could expand to other areas beyond Cape Coral. We have several victims now who currently have these cameras. We wanted to be sure it has worked successfully, which it has,” Newlan said.

Coviello said the CCPD is always on the leading edge for innovative ways to keep the community safe, and this partnership is another example of that.

“To work with Ring to get people with injunctions cameras donated to them, is a win for our city,” Coviello said. “It’s one of the reasons why we are among the safest cities in the state with these innovative ideas.

Paul Poland, with the State Attorney’s Office, said these cases tend to come down to one person’s word over another. This program would give visual proof.

“This will help in prosecution. I think it’s a wonderful program, and I think the collaboration in doing this is a great thing,” Poland said.

Jennifer Benton, of Abuse Counseling and Treatment, said ACT can’t do it alone.

“We have to partner with other organizations to give our victims lots of options. It provides a level of security and hopefully keeps people from breaking injunctions of protection,” Benton said. “We’re hoping others get on board. We can’t take it nationwide, but we can promote it enough to where others look at it.”