Kerry Ann Barronette, program coordinator of the Harker Heights Police Department’s Healthy Homes Program, was the guest speaker at the Harker Heights Kiwanis Club meeting March 19.
She gave an overview of the program, a longtime dream of Chief Mike Gentry that officially got off the ground when Barronette joined the police department last year.
Since August, Barronette developed a Family Violence Task Force that supports cooperation between agencies such as law enforcement, the medical community, schools, social workers and other entities that provide aid to people in trouble.
“The program links people in crisis immediately with services that are needed,” Barronette said, explaining that social workers accompany officers on family violence calls and offer assistance to the people involved. “By September, I had 50 cases. Now I have well over 100 … over half of those are of a domestic violence nature.”
In one case, officers responded to the same home 102 times over a six-month period, Barronette said.
A brochure published about Healthy Homes stated that the program is helpful to victims of elderly abuse and neglect, child abuse and neglect, and sexual assault and other issues that create conflict in the home.
For more information about the Healthy Homes Program, call Barronette at (254) 953-5439.