Cases of domestic violence in Flagler increased by more than 8 percent last year and two homicides related to domestic violence have occurred since January.
Now, the increase has prompted Sheriff Rick Staly to take action.
Staly is hosting the county’s first-ever Domestic Violence Summit Wednesday to find a community-driven solution to the problem. The goal of the summit is to launch a Domestic Violence Task Force comprised of local citizens, members of the judicial system, social service agencies, and government representatives that will develop a plan to combat domestic violence in Flagler County.
“The overall plan for this first meeting is to discuss the problem and then put committees together to look at the different aspects of domestic violence,” Staly said
The summit is at the Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Coast from 2 to 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Staly said there are a few questions the summit is aiming to answer.
“How do we prevent it; how do we enforce it when it does occur; how do we prosecute it; how do we get social service to the victim; and what can we make better in our community,” he said.
Staly said this is a long term problem that needs a long term solution, and he hopes the task force will have a plan for ending domestic violence in three to four months.
The Flagler County Sheriff's office responded to 17 domestic violence disturbance calls the weekend of June 5. Three of these incidents resulted in arrests, two ended in stabbings and are currently under investigation, and 12 were resolved by FSCO deputies.
“Our agency is being proactive rather than reactive,” Staly said. “We’ll never arrest our way out of this problem so we have to come up with and find a community based solution.”
Tiffany Salameh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tiffanysalameh