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Grant decision awaited to help domestic violence caseload

Nevada Outreach Training Organization is awaiting the decision on a rural grant as it’s looking to fund a prosecutor’s position for handling its clients’ domestic violence cases.

In what organization Executive Director Salli Kerr described as an “unusual and innovative” move, the organization applied for the grant at the federal level following the recommendation of the attorney general’s office.

Nevada Outreach Training Organization, a private entity focused on prevention of domestic violence that operates on donations and federal grants, plans to use the rural grant to fund the a county prosecutor to focus on domestic violence cases. The request for the grant was also recently approved by Nye County commissioners on March 1.

“The reason that it had to be approved by the county was because in our grant package, we asked the federal government to fund part of our prosecution position,” Kerr said.

The grant, Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program with Nevada Outreach Training Organization as the lead agency in the county.

“We would actually receive the money for that and we would pay the county to keep that prosecutor on. And the county is going to write its own grant to fund the other half of that position,” she said.

Previously, a three-county position had a prosecutor and attorney general who were cross-deputized with the local prosecutor’s office.

However the three-year funding cycle was nearing its end, and Kerr said the position could be lost because they were going to move to another set of three counties.

“The grant management unit at the DA’s office offered to help to apply for the grant with exactly the same idea,” she said.

Unlike some urban areas, Nye County doesn’t have a special victims unit, and Kerr said that’s what the attorney general’s office created by putting a special prosecutor in the office.

“It’s so important to my victims that we have good prosecution against their abusers, against their perpetrators that if we can help fund that we can help fund that position,” she said.

Part of the grant will help to fund a prosecutor’s position at the county. Another part will go toward operations.

“It’s a continuation of an idea at the state level brought locally,” she said.

Kerr declined to provide the amount of the grant.

“Every victim is worth it,” she said. “If it’s one, sometimes, it comes down to more than a number and that’s what we see every day is that being more than a number.”

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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