SAN DIEGO (KGTV and CNS) - The office of District Attorney Summer Stephan will soon have a new tool to better document injuries to victims of domestic violence.
Her office announced on Tuesday, May 7 that 35 cameras will be purchased to aid in investigations, thanks to a $30,000 grant from a California Office of Emergency Services.
According to Stephan, these cameras can produce high-quality photos, which will then assist how evidence is presented in court. "These cameras can help us preserve and document evidence -- including evidence of strangulation -- which is predictive of homicide, and allows us to move forward with prosecutions and fight this persistent crime in San Diego County," said Stephan.
According to a recent crime report from the San Diego Association of Governments, in 2017 there were more than 17,000 domestic violence incidents reported in San Diego County. Stephan said there has been a 20% increase in the number of domestic violence cases submitted to the District Attorney's Office over the last five years. Plus, the District Attorney's Family Protection Division has 21 pending murder cases. 11 of those cases involve the murder of an intimate partner.
In addition to the new cameras, Stephan's office is currently working on nine other initiatives to bring awareness to and combat domestic violence. These initiatives include a new countywide strangulation protocol, forensic exams, and recognizing the link between homelessness and domestic violence.