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Emergency Responders Receiving Domestic Violence Training | Crime

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Emergency Responders Receiving Domestic Violence Training

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Nevada is the worst place in the country for domestic violence. This year alone, North Las Vegas emergency crews responded to 1,400 domestic 911 calls.

"It's been shocking for them to learn about the effects, not just on that victim, but their children, how the children are adversely affected by what happens in the home," said North Las Vegas Deputy City Attorney Kim Phillips.

Firefighters and paramedics are usually first on the scene for fires and medical emergencies. They are also often the first responders for domestic calls - sometimes arriving before the police.

Thanks to a new federal grant, North Las Vegas emergency responders spent Thursday learning the basics of domestic violence. They also learned how to tame explosive situations that can sometimes end in murder.

The awareness training is part of the City of North Las Vegas' new domestic violence division. The grant-funded department is dedicated to educating first responders and empowering victims of domestic violence.

"Any opportunities we may be missing to be able to identify a victim, to help validate her, provide her with some resources that may be available to her and so basically to get the word out," Phillips said.

"You're going into somebody's home, into their relationship, into highly volatile, emotional situations the police officer's then tasked with diffusing," said North Las Vegas Police Officer Chrissie Coon. "Hopefully out of this training, those victims will have a little bit more personal connection with their first responder and really trust them to let them get help and out of that situation."

Even though the North Las Vegas Police Department already has a special unit assigned to domestic violence cases, the new division in the city attorney's office is expected to enhance the resources available to victims.

"Absolutely (it) finds more resources, lets the victim know they're validated," Phillips said. "They don't deserve this. What's happening to them is a crime, and that there are people out there that can help them."

The efforts are funded by a Violence Against Women grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.  The training will take place during the next few months.