In partnership with IMPD, The Julian Center works to adapt the Baker One Project to Indianapolis to help reduce DV-related homicide and serious assaults. Baker One, a project started in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina in 2002 - has proven successful in preventing lesser crimes from escalating to seriously violent or fatal acts.
Since 2002, IMPD has partnered with The Julian Center to provide a domestic violence Advocate in each service district. These Advocates respond directly to domestic violence scenes as called by police officers and also follow-up via telephone or letter with nearly every domestic violence-related report that is filed within IMPD’s jurisdiction. In 2010, The Julian Center’s six Advocates reviewed over 9,000 police reports – of these, approximately 2500 victims requested further assistance and were provided direct services by the Advocates.
An Initiative Begins
In May 2011, former Deputy Chief Benjamin approached The Julian Center Advocates about ideas to reduce and prevent domestic violence homicides and serious domestic violence assault. Based on previous research, the Baker One Project – a project started in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina in 2002 – was recommended. In June, De’Von Kelly and Jennifer Reister presented the Baker One Project to the IMPD Executive Staff as a potential initiative to reduce DV-related homicide and serious assaults. With the support of grant funds targeted at reducing domestic violence, the IMPD East District was chosen as the pilot area for the Baker One Project with the longer range plan of taking the project city-wide in 2012.
Baker One Project
The Baker One Project is an approach of grouping police reports in a way to identify potentially high-risk offenders for domestic violence homicide or serious assault. The Baker One protocol, in addition to physically violent crime, looks at a list of 23 indicator crimes - including invasion of privacy, harassment, and vandalism - to determine if an offender exhibits escalating or habitual offenses. Once a suspect is identified as a Baker One offender, an IMPD officer attempts to do early intervention by speaking with them outside of a call to the home and offering resources for help. The “Baker One” designation follows the suspect throughout the investigation by IMPD detectives and also through prosecution efforts. The overall goal is to prevent these lesser crimes from escalating into something fatal or seriously violent.
Since July of this year, East District command staff, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, and the IMPD advocates have worked diligently to start the Baker One Project and to make the changes necessary to ensure it is a success within Indianapolis. Progress includes the creation of a Baker One Project Coordinator, development of an e-learning module for East District police officers to learn about the project, collaboration with the district Julian Center Advocates to determine offender identification protocol, and partnering with the prosecutor’s office to ensure that the Baker One designation would persist through prosecution. The district command staff have also involved patrol officers in creating the framework for the project by asking for input on what was working and what was not and if they had any additional ideas for improving upon the project as it goes through the pilot phase.
In August, the Domestic Violence Network recognized the Baker One Project as a starting point for the Coordinated Community Response efforts within Marion County. Thus far, the Baker One Project has been successful in its pilot phase. The next step is to replicate the protocol city-wide in the Spring of 2012.
To Learn More
To learn more about the new strategy, click here
to read an article written by John Tuohy from The Indianapolis Star.