With Mayor Ballard, IMPD Police Chief Paul Ciesielski and East District Commander James Waters looking on, Julian Center Executive Director Melissa Pershing and Domestic Violence Network CEO Julie Marsh praised the leadership of the IMPD Baker One pilot project at today’s Julian Center Judges Luncheon.
The goal of the Baker One Project is to identify patterns of lesser “indicator” crimes and intervene before the crimes escalate into domestic violence assault or homicide. In addition to physically violent crime, the Baker One protocol looks at a list of 23 indicator crimes (including invasion of privacy, harassment, and vandalism) to determine if an offender exhibits a pattern of escalating offenses. Once a suspect is identified as a Baker One offender, an IMPD officer attempts to do early intervention by speaking with them and offering resources for help.
Since July, East District command staff, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and the IMPD advocates worked diligently to start up the Baker One pilot—creating the Project Coordinator position, developing an e-learning module for East District police officers, collaborating with the East district’s Julian Center advocate to determine offender identification protocol and partnering with the prosecutor’s office to ensure that the Baker One designation would continue through prosecution. The district command staff also involved patrol officers in the creating the framework for the Project.
At today’s Judges Luncheon (a quarterly Julian Center event recognizing outstanding police work) the following were recognized for their leadership role in making the Baker One pilot project in the East District a success:
- Deputy Chief Scott Haslar was commander of East district until mid-November when he was promoted to his current rank. Deputy Chief Haslar was largely responsible for initiating IMPD interest in the Baker One Project and taking the lead in making it a reality.
- Captain Mark Rice has been involved in the Baker One Project since the first meeting six months ago. He has been invaluable in navigating the department protocol for the project and has also been a major force in working with patrol officers to include them in the project as it evolves.
- Lt. Thomas Kern was the Crime Reduction Specialist in East district until late November when he was offered a position working with Deputy Chief Haslar. Lt. Kern tackled the technology portion of the project, organizing the e-training for patrol officers and enabling them to determine a suspect’s Baker One status from their laptops.
- Sgt. LeEtta White is IMPD’s first official Baker One Project Coordinator. She organizes the officers to speak with offenders and contact with victims.
- Linda Major is the Executive Director of Domestic Violence Affairs and has been the frontline person for the Marion County Prosecutor on Baker One since the project began in July. She helped secure the pilot grant and worked closely with East district command staff to create an information sheet completed by officers at DV scenes that are then used by both detectives and prosecutors for screening and investigative purposes. Additionally, she has worked to establish a protocol within the prosecutor’s office for Baker One offenders.
- De’Von Kelly found the original research on the Baker One Project in 2007 and spent the next 3 years talking it up. When IMPD had the resources to implement a new protocol, they asked De’Von to present the Baker One Project to the IMPD executive staff in the spring of this year. De’Von has worked for the Julian Center for over 10 years and as a Julian Center IMPD advocate since 2002.
Baker One is a model project named after a nationally-cited 2002 initiative in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina designed to reduce DV-related homicide and serious assaults. IMPD Executive Staff determined the East District had received a grant which required part of the funds be utilized for domestic violence reduction. The Baker One was adopted with the East District serving as the pilot area. The Baker One Project is scheduled to be launched city-wide in 2012.
The East District list of Baker One offenders currently consists of 16 offenders; 2 of which have been added within the last 3 weeks. As of November 29, the following outcomes have occurred with the 14 original Baker One offenders:
- Three have received sentences in the Indiana Department of Corrections, including one offender who had over 30 criminal offenses dating back to 1994
- Three are currently awaiting trial in the Marion County Jail
- Two have been convicted of domestic violence-related offenses and are on probation
- One is on pre-trial release with Global Positioning System monitoring
Also recognized at today’s luncheon were IMPD Officers Shawn Cook and Gary Toms who received the Julian Center’s quarterly Law Enforcement Award in Domestic Violence (LEAD) for their dedication to serving victims of domestic violence. Both were commended for their responsiveness and diligence in a serious domestic assault occurring on the city’s west side.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Melissa Pershing, Executive Director, The Julian Center
Jennifer Reister, IMPD Advocate Team Leader