CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department says it has been awarded two federal grants totaling $142,988 to hire a domestic violence investigator and to purchase a forensic video enhancement system.
According to police, one grant totaling $106,808 from the Justice Department will be used to hire the investigator and provide their equipment and training; the grant is only for a year.
Officials say the police department will fund that position once the grant period ends.
A CPD press release states that the investigator will be assigned to the newly formed Family Violence Unit. The unit also includes a fulltime mental health worker and 3 victim advocates.
According to police officials, the goal of the unit is to break the cycle of abuse by quickly getting help to victims and their children.
CPD officials say a key objective is to keep children from assuming what they see in an abusive environment is normal behavior. According to police, it will also help to prevent them from growing up to become an abuser or victim themselves.
"Research shows that children who grow up in families where violence occurs are at risk of repeating that behavior or committing other violent crimes when they become adults," Police Chief Greg Mullen said.
"It is critical that we help children understand that this is not normal behavior and this is not how you treat women or other family members. Changing this mindset is important to our ability to prevent domestic and intimate partner abuse from being passed down from generation to generation," Mullen said.
The other grant totaling $36,180 from the Justice Assistance Grant Program will be used to purchase a Forensic Video Enhancement System, according to police.
CPD officials say the system will be capable of recovery, enhancement and analysis of video images, photographs and audiotapes.
It will be used in both the laboratory and in the field to retrieve investigative information and evidence from all types of cameras and recording devices.