AURORA, Colo. — The Aurora Police Department announced the creation of a unit specifically dedicated to domestic violence cases Thursday.
“Domestic violence in our community, it’s just insidious,” said James Gillespie the executive director of Gateway Domestic Violence Services, which will benefit from the new task force.
Gateway currently operates the only 24/7 shelter in Aurora for victims of domestic violence, and the shelter is often forced to turn victims away due to bed capacity.
The numbers are sobering. Aurora police currently respond to an average of 6,700 domestic violence calls annually, and domestic violence incidents in the city have doubled over just the past four years.
“So it’s a great move by the Aurora Police Department to create a domestic violence unit. We desperately need that here in the city of Aurora,” said Gillespie. “They’re literally fleeing from a life-and-death situation just to get out to get somewhere safe.”
Gateway believes the new police unit is a big step in alleviating the problem, as the unit will be focused on arresting offenders and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law.
“The reality is, domestic violence is everywhere, here in Aurora and the state of Colorado,” Gillespie said.
The Aurora Police Department says the new unit will be fully operational by the start of 2021.
It will be staffed with one sergeant and five investigators.