MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Base officials stood with representatives of military and civilian law enforcement agencies and other organizations outside Building 7200 Oct. 8 to support Domestic Violence Awareness month activities here, part of the national program to focus on the problem.
“This is important to all of us. Even if we have one case in the Marine Corps, it’s a serious challenge,” said Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga. “It’s a challenge we all have to deal with, and we have to deal with it up front, it can’t be something that we push into the background. I’m so proud of the fact that we here at the base are leaning far forward with all of our programs and services designed to confront this issue.”
Williams signed a proclamation designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the base.
The guest speaker at the event, Chief Don Cheek, Dougherty County Police Department, explained that, in 1988, Albany, Ga., was the ‘murder capitol of the nation’ for a city its size, and most of those murders were related to domestic violence.
“Twenty-four of the 27 homicides here that year were related to domestic violence and it was an eye-opener for us as a community,” he said. “Our mindset became there will be zero tolerance for it, so we developed aprotocol for the community and it was instrumental in reducing the domestic violence homicide rate.”
He acknowledged there will be hundreds of calls for law enforcement assistance on domestic violence calls this year, and the problem will never be fully eliminated.
“The solutions we have now, besides enforcement, are education, outreach to resources and getting people the help they need,” he said.
Agencies and individuals were honored at the ceremony for their work on DV issues, both on and off-base.
They included Christine Morrison and Patricia Montgomery of the Naval Branch Health Clinic; Investigators Raymond Berry, David Black and Kevin Casey of the Marine Corps Police Department, Public Safety Division, MCLB Albany and Greg Edwards, accepting on behalf of the Dougherty County District Attorney’s Office.
The Marine and Family Services office here has events planned during October to promote awareness of domestic violence. These included an event held at Liberty House of Albany Oct. 3 to raise DV awareness in the community. Other activities include a balloon release at the base Child Development Center Oct. 16, plus a candlelight vigil and silent walk sponsored by Liberty House of Albany Oct. 29.
“The problem is everywhere, regardless of income, age or race,” said Jamie
Hurst, victim assistant coordinator, Marine and Family Services, Marine Corps Community Services MCLB Albany. “Unfortunately, we’re seeing more domestic violence cases in the Albany area.”
The economic downturn could be one cause of the increase in domestic violence cases because it increases stress levels on families, Hurst observed.
For base personnel, counseling services are available at Marine and Family Services for marriage and individual counseling.
“If someone feels they are in a dangerous situation or at risk, they can contact me and we can discuss options and ensure an individual’s safety,” Hurst said.
For additional information, individuals should call (229) 639-5252 for family advocacy services on-base, and (229) 639-7938 to contact Hurst.
Other sources are available on the MCLB Albany website, www.marines.mil/unit/mclbalbany and www.militayronesource.com. The national domestic violence hotline is (800) 799-SAFE.