For More Information Contact:
Michael A. Ellison (845) 486-2103
“At this evening’s Dutchess County Legislature October Board Meeting the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence will share with Legislators, and the general public, its report that I requested on August 16 following the tragic domestic violence murder of Linda Riccardulli. This is not a review of the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Riccardulli’s death but rather a ‘system-wide review of domestic violence services in Dutchess County.’
As a former law enforcement officer and liaison to this Advisory Committee, domestic violence is an issue that remains in my heart and on my mind. However, before any reform is enacted on this crucial public safety matter this Committee of advocates, victims, and experts must be allowed to present their report on existing programs and policy alternatives so that the best ways to address this growing problem may be found. Once done, legislators must work in conjunction with state officials to enact reforms that will improve domestic violence services in our County and give law enforcement better tools to stop perpetrators of this heinous crime.
Domestic violence incidents are on the rise and unfortunately only a small percentage of those cases reported to law enforcement result in arrests. This is a not a political issue nor is it a regionalized problem. Domestic violence will be experienced by one in four women in their lifetime and abusers cause more injuries to women, and in some cases men, than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. It is a serious epidemic that has been a personal priority of mine for a long time and one that should be a legislative priority for this body.
To review the recommendations and content of this report I have asked Legislator Kenneth Roman, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, to hold workshops on this issue. These workshops will be designed to digest the report and craft the necessary resolutions needed to codify the viable policy initiatives presented by this Citizens’ Advisory Committee. I have complete faith and confidence that the legislators on the Public Safety Committee will act in a prudent manner in a unified effort to serve and protect the victims of domestic violence.”