Baltimore County, city to join efforts on domestic violence


A Baltimore woman who has been abused seeks refuge at a city shelter, then panics when her husband tracks her down. Social workers try to send her to a shelter in Baltimore County, but the county balks at helping a city resident, leaving the woman in danger.

It has been a familiar scenario, often with the two jurisdictions' roles reversed, but one that officials say will not be repeated now that the city and county have agreed to cooperate in the battle against domestic violence.

Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and County Executive Roger B. Hayden, who signed the pact yesterday, said they will share resources and information, coordinate training programs and jointly identify and track domestic violence cases.

"Victims and assailants in both Baltimore City and Baltimore County will get the same message -- that we intend to provide adequate safety for the victims of domestic violence and deal appropriately with their assailants," Mayor Schmoke said.

The agreement reaches many levels of city and county governments. For instance, the police departments will share resources related to domestic violence, including audiovisual materials, computerized record-keeping systems and procedures for case reviews.

The departments will also develop and share a list of the top 50 repeat offenders in each jurisdiction.

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