The St. John Sheriff’s Office hosted a seminar on domestic violence investigation February 1, 2022 at the Lloyd B. Johnson Law Enforcement Training Center in LaPlace. Several officers from the New Orleans and Baton Rouge area attended the program, “Protecting Louisiana’s Families,” presented by the Louisiana Department of Justice and the Louisiana District Attorneys Association.

The program was designed to help officers better understand victimization and sharpen skills for trauma-informed interviewing of victims.

Speakers focused on examining and exploring the best practices on issues such as trauma, diversity/bias awareness, pandemic response, strangulation, and report writing. Presentations on victim-centered care and offender accountability were among the highlights.

Speakers were Wanjennia Atkins, domestic violence coordinator for the Louisiana Department of Justice; Penny Davis, victim services liaison for the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association; Lt. Joel Callahan and Sgt. Craig Russell of the Baton Rouge Police Department; Shona Chavis of the ministry called avA “a voice Awakening;” Monica Taylor of the Louisiana Department of Justice; and Philip Prescott, Assistant District Attorney for the 16th Judicial District.

Domestic violence is a serious offense that affects not only the victim, but family members, friends, co-workers, and the community, in general, Sheriff Mike Tregre said. Training to help officers provide the best possible service to these victims is a major step to help stop this violence.