The Protection Order Notification Project will help protect crime victims at a particularly dangerous time
The Oregon Judicial Department, State Police and Department of Justice today announced a new free service that will provide victims with earlier notification when a protective order has been served on their behalf.
"People protected by abuse prevention or stalking protective orders will know almost immediately when that judicial order has taken effect," said Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz. "That allows them to know they are protected and can report any violations to law enforcement."
"Whenever we are able to utilize an existing system to enhance victim and public safety we are providing a better, more cost effective service to the citizens of the state. Even though LEDS developed this capability and is the vehicle for the notification process, the actual entry into the system is done by members of the Sheriff's departments, without their additional effort these automatic notifications could not be made. This is just another excellent example of an intergovernmental collaboration that crosses the spectrums of Criminal Justice and Victims assistance," said Terry O'Connell, Director of the Oregon State Police Law Enforcement Data Systems Section (LEDS).
"We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Judicial Department and the Oregon State Police Law Enforcement Data Systems Section in the development of this important new system that will help protect crime victims," said Keith Dubanevich, Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to Attorney General John Kroger. "The new system is a double win for Oregon as it not only helps crime victims but it also saves the state money."
The Protection Orders Notification Project is an optional free service that will provide immediate notice to victims when a protection order has been served on their behalf. Those who request the service and voluntarily provide an email address and/or text number will receive notification via email or text as soon as the information is entered into the law enforcement database by a Sheriff's Office.
While the official notification process via mail may take several days, automated messaging will enhance existing notice requirements by allowing victims who are in danger more time to plan for their safety. The service will also provide renewal notices and warnings 30 days prior to the expiration of an active protection order.
This enhancement to the "return of service" form already mailed to the victim comes at a time when domestic violence homicides have increased in Oregon. Sixty-six victims have died as a result of intimate partner homicide since January 2009 with 18 victims killed over a 30-day period in November 2009.
The Oregon Department of Justice Crime Victims' Services Division partnered with the Oregon State Police Law Enforcement Data System and the Oregon Judicial Department to coordinate information-sharing and avoid having to work through a private vendor. This interagency collaboration represents an estimated cost-savings of $150,000 per year.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org