SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Judges, law enforcement, state and federal lawmakers, and community organizations have formed a collaborative commission to combat domestic violence.
“We recognize that domestic violence has reached epidemic proportions in Bexar County and throughout the United States,” said Judge Peter Sakai, founder of the commission.
Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridge and Judge Monique Diaz are co-chairing the Commission on Collaborative Strategies to Prevent, Combat and Respond to Domestic Violence, which was announced Friday.
“We don’t want to have another year where Bexar County has the highest number of domestic violence-related deaths,” Diaz told the crowd gathered on the steps of the courthouse.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus says last year, SAPD handled 25 murders stemming from domestic violence.
“These murders included intimate partners, families and children,” he said.
He expressed his frustration about putting so much effort into fighting the problem and not getting commensurate results.
“I think that this commission is going to have an impact. We are identifying gaps,” McManus said. “We are identifying individuals and organizations that can help us close these gaps, so I’m confident that we can be successful here.”
In addition to SAPD, the commission include the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, the Bexar County District Clerk’s Office, Bexar County Courts, San Antonio Municipal Courts, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio University Health System, Center for Healthcare Services, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Family Violence Prevention Services and the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative. They’re also working with members of congress and state lawmakers.