Jackson County launches domestic violence fatality review team

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 6:22 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) - Jackson County is launching a new team aiming to prevent domestic violence, made up several different law enforcement agencies across the county.

“We hear about the stories, we hear about risk that domestic survivors and their children face every day,” says Lisa Flemming, Rosebrook center CEO.

Flemming has been a fierce advocate for sexual domestic violence survivors in Jackson County over the last 32 years.

For 15 of them, she’s dreamt up this team.

“How can we do our jobs differently, how can we change the way we respond to survivors to ultimately save lives?”

That’s the question that will be at the forefront of this D.V. fatality review team.

Police chiefs from Independence, Lees Summit, Grandview, Blue Springs and Kansas City, along with the county prosecutor and nearby shelters all came together for this launch.

They’ll be reviewing past cases that turned fatal and asking themselves what they could have done differently.

“Was there a situation that could have been proved at a court level or investigation level or street patrol level,” asks Bob Muenz, Blue Springs Police Chief.

“We will be diving into file reviews and doing interviews with family and friends and co-workers,” says Flemming.

The need for this is at an all time high.

“Pre-pandemic, our hotline calls we were receiving between 400-600 calls a month. During the height of the pandemic we were getting between 600-800 calls a month and post-pandemic in the last 12 months we are receiving 1000 calls a month to our hotline,” says Flemming.

The team will review their first case together in September.