Aug 31, 2009 9:01 PM by John Romero
A program designed to assist victims of domestic violence may be severely depleted depending on a controversial November vote. The program in question is the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team or DVERT. Voters in November could decide the future of the program and it some partners of DVERT worried. Many of DVERT's resources through the Colorado Springs Police Department could be gone as part of police budget cuts if the proposed city property tax increase fails in this November's vote. Police tell us their DVERT resources would drop down to only to 2 employees if the tax doesn't pass. Victim advocate groups such as TESSA are concerned over the possible depletion of the DVERT program. Connie Brachtenbach, TESSA's executive director, says they've seen a 50% increase in calls for help this year, and cut backs to DVERT could be devastating. "It can be a confusing process for women and children in these types of situations." says Brachtenbach, "With the team going away I think it will be an even bigger challenge for victims to get the help and support they need." The El Paso County Sheriff's Office had to drop out of the program last year due to a similar budget problem.