A central Kentucky law enforcement agency is helping to roll out two new domestic violence related initiatives. Both focus on expediting the paperwork for emergency protective services.
The Fayette County Sheriff and Circuit Clerk have launched electronic Emergency Protective Orders. Sheriff Kathy Witt says the e-EPO program significantly reduces the time to create the protective order and then review, authorize, and put it into the system. "Speed, efficiency, connecting all the different partner agencies that need to be connected in order to better serve the victim, in order to better get service on the respondent," said Witt.
Circuit Clerk Vince Riggs says what used to take hours to process can now be done very quickly. "The judge issues an EPO here in Kentucky and the respondent is pulled over for a traffic citation in, say, Spokane Washington,” said Riggs. “Essentially, and theoretically, he could be served with the EPO order within minutes."
Within the first three weeks of using the new system, 62 EPO's have been issued electronically in Fayette County.
The sheriff's office is also launching a new domestic violence order Hope Card. Witt says it's a small laminated wallet sized card. "Allowing the victim to have a smaller version of that multi page domestic violence order allows her the freedom to not have to carry those pages all the time and to always have a photograph of that respondent on her at all times in case she has to call law enforcement for help," explained Witt.
The sheriff says dating couples in Kentucky are also now eligible for the same civil protection, as outlined in newly approved legislation.