BRPD adds veteran officer to assist victims

Photo provided by staff.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 7:35pm

The Baton Rouge Police Department added a veteran police officer to work with the departments victim's assistance program. Sergeant Brenda Gann runs the domestic abuse unit for BRPD. She begins each work day by looking for people who may need her help.

"When I get to work the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to read all my synopsis that comes through the police department. If I see anything a serious battery that has occurred, domestic violence, I'm going to be calling that person immediately," She said.

She checks in with the victims to make sure they are ok, and they are safe.

"A lot of them feel hopeless and feel like there is no other place to turn," Sgt. Gann said. "...And not aware that we are here to assist. We have the resources, and we are willing to move forward and be there for them."

She helps victims of domestic violence situations, trying to keep them from escalating. She also works with the departments victim assistance coordinator.

Gann said timing is key when trying to help victims.

"Usually if you reach out to them quicker we tend to see a trend that they will follow it through the court proceeding," Gann said. "The sooner you get involved ,and the sooner they think they're going to get the help that they need, then that helps us out tremendously when it comes time for court. Because, they know somebody is going to be there for them. "

She's working on a new database to keep track of all the domestic violence cases that come in each day.

Gann is also working to better track offenders.

"Part of my case management that I'm developing right now is for targeting violent offenders that has done this numerous times that has fallen through the gaps and we don't realize that this person (has), because they'll change partners, and they'll commit violence on one lady and go to the next girlfriend and commit domestic violence . We can put this in a database where I can look up the accused and see how many times he has done this," Gann said.

The databases would also allow Gann to look for patterns of domestic violence.

"That's why I am trying to get a database for the smaller things like through city court violations of protective orders and everything," Gann said. "... And try to find out if there is a pattern with these guys. Has it escalated and try to prevent that before it escalates."

Her goal is to help cut down the number of domestic violence cases and protect victims.

"The main thing is the rights of the victim, and help them as soon as possible," Gann said.

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