The Frederick County Sheriff's Office is receiving one.
13 law enforcement agencies in Maryland are receiving grants to further protect victims of domestic violence. The Governor's Office on Crime Control And Prevention is doling out $196,333 to local police to speed up the protective order process, from the time the courts issue the order to the period when they're entered into law enforcement databases.
"Sometimes hours can go by, sometimes maybe even a day or two before the woman goes to the court, or the victim goes to the court, when the police can get hold of the order. This can make it happen more quickly," says spokesman Bill Toohey with the Governor's Office on Crime Control and Prevention.
The Frederick County Sheriff's Office is receiving a grant totaling $14,957.00. Other police agencies receiving grants include those in Montgomery, Howard and Carroll Counties.
The Governor's Office says the funds will support efforts to respond 24-hours a day, seven days a week. "Usually, by hiring an extra individual, who can just move the paperwork and move the keyboard a little faster, get this order out of the court and into the hands of police so that this woman can have this shield, this protection," says Toohey, who acknowledges that some victims of domestic violence are men.
He also notes that protective orders are to be taken seriously. "There are some people who say that a protective order, or an ex parte as it's called, is nothing but a piece of paper, and what kind of protection does that give a woman. It gives a woman significant protection--or a man--because this is the shield, this is the legal shield. This puts the force of law behind the order to stay away from the other individual," he says.
Once the protective order is placed in law enforcement databases, a police officer has the legal authority to prevent one person from harassing and harming another individual.