Saugerties police join Clegg to combat domestic violence


SAUGERTIES – The Saugerties Police Department has joined a collective of prosecutors, victim advocates, social service providers, and community members, as part of the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention (IPVI) Task Force.  The IPVI protocol aims to prevent further incidents of intimate partner violence by clearly communicating the risks offenders would face if they chose to re-offend.

The IPVI intervenes early on with intimate partner violence offenders known to the criminal justice system. Developed by the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) at John Jay College. The initiative offers supportive services to offenders and, when necessary, addresses the most dangerous individuals through enforcement actions.

District Attorney David Clegg has been committed to this intervention since taking office in January 2020. Clegg has been working toward the county-wide implementation of IPVI. “Intimate Partner Violence is a pervasive community problem. It is our responsibility to hold accountable persons committing acts of intimate partner violence, to stop the violence and break the intergenerational cycle of abuse” said DA Clegg. “Victim Safety is paramount to the IPVI strategy, which focuses on the offender and aims to prevent any further violence by clearly communicating that the prosecutorial response to further offenses will be swift and certain.”

“During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw an increase in chronic offenders re-offending with heightened violence. In response, we expedited the timeline of our county-wide expansion to support the needs of our community” said Sr. Assistant District Attorney, Elizabeth Culmone-Mills who heads the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Task Force in Ulster County. “We are eager to expand this collaborative response to the Town and Village of Saugerties.”

The Saugerties Police Department has joined the IPVI task force. The department has made great strides in the awareness and enforcement of domestic violence in the past few years. Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra had already begun to implement aspects of the IPVI initiative in his department’s response to domestic violence, which made Saugerties a logical fit to begin the first phase of the county-wide expansion, according to Clegg.

“One of the approach’s essential elements is the ability to focus on offenders at early stages of offending before violence or patterns of behavior escalate – offering community-based outreach, support, and procedurally just messaging about the potential consequences of continued offending,” said Kassondra Seyfert, Project Director of Ulster County’s Intimate Partner Violence Intervention. “We have already been able to see IPVI’s impact in the enhanced communication and collaboration we have seen amongst our partner agencies with the City of Kingston, enabling the task force to respond faster and more effectively than ever before.”

Ulster County’s IPVI Task Force is comprised of dedicated members from the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office, Kingston Police Department, Saugerties Police Department, Ulster County Probation Department, Crime Victims Assistance Program, New York State Department of Community Corrections, Family of Woodstock, Ulster County services providers and local community members of the Kingston and Saugerties communities.

New Paltz is slated to be the next jurisdiction to begin development in the first phase of the county-wide IPVI expansion by the end of this year.

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