Officers honored for domestic violence prevention efforts
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - For the 14th straight year, local law enforcement came together Friday for the Trey Hutchison Awards Banquet.
The event is named for Bossier City Officer Trey Hutchison, who was killed responding to a domestic violence call in 2004.
October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Louisiana consistently ranks in the top 5 states in the nation in domestic violence rates.
According to Project Celebration, domestic violence took the lives of at least 8 people in Shreveport within the last year.
"These people here that continue on in his work, that can save people from domestic violence, that means there is an officer that doesn't have to go to a situation like that. So these people are saving lives and to have Trey's name attached to it in any way is an honor," said Trey's father Mark Hutchison.
- Deputy Kelly Downey of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office and Detective Heather Boucher of the Centenary Police Department were honored for their efforts to prevent domestic violence this year.
- Representative Clay Higgins of Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District served as this year's keynote speaker.
- Survivor Vickie Kinnard was given the Charles Rex Scott Civilian of the Year Award.
Kinnard says she escaped violence while living in Farmington, New Mexico. She says she's here today because a police officer responded to a 911 call.
"The moment you know you have to leave to survive, don't hesitate. Do not wait one more moment," Kinnard said.
Domestic violence can be just as deadly for police officers as it is for victims. In fact, it is considered one of the most dangerous calls an officer can take.
"The domestic violence call is the call every officer dreads, There are so many factors the officers has no control over," said Jim Taliaferro, president of Caddo Bossier Domestic Violence Task Force.
Despite its prevalence, advocates say progress is being made.
"No other time in our history has help been so readily available for domestic violence victims," Taliaferro said.
"As a survivor, it means the world to me that what I went through was not in vain and that awareness is getting out that domestic violence has to end," Kinnard said.
If you need help escaping violence, call police or Project Celebration's 24/7 confidential hotline at 318-226-5015.
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