MPD program connects domestic violence counselors to victims immediately

MILWAUKEE -- One Milwaukee Police Department district is working to bring a domestic violence counselor directly to the doorstep of victims as soon as they've called police. FOX6 News got an exclusive look at this program, which is getting more attention following Sunday's shooting at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield.

Three were killed and four were injured when 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton entered the Azana Salon & Spa and opened fire. Radcliffe's wife, Zina Haughton was one of the three killed in the shooting.

After the shooting FOX6 News learned Radcliffe and Zina Haughton had a history of domestic violence related incidents, and were not strangers to police.

Facing an increase in domestic violence in Milwaukee, at MPD District 7 on the city's north side Monique Anderson and her fellow officers are now driving community advocates like Antonia Vann of Asha Family Services directly to the doorsteps of victims, right after the abuse incident takes place.

"I can get us in the door with my uniform, but the ladies, our advocates are just amazing with our victims -- talking to our victims and moving forward with that," Officer Anderson said.

"What I love most is the ability to do domestic violence restraining orders right there in the victim's home," Vann said.

Throughout the week, Anderson logs each serious domestic violence incident within the police district. She makes sure if an advocate cannot go right to a victim's house with police immediately, they'll join an officer for a visit within 24-48 hours.

Vann says the immediate timing is vital so friends, or worse yet, the abuser cannot talk a victim into recanting her statements.

"We are out there as soon as we possibly can to make sure they get the resources they need," Anderson said.

"We get there immediately and she has these supports and this district says this issue is critical," Vann said.

The program has been in place at MPD District 7 for about two-and-a-half months, but officers say they're already seeing a decrease in repeat domestic violence offenders.