The Howard County state's attorney's office announced that it has received a $45,000 grant to organize a domestic violence unit.
The grant, which comes from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, will enable the state's attorney's office to create a unit in its District Court division to serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and elder abuse, according to a news release.
"This grant allows us to add a new position that will expand and enhance our ongoing efforts to protect the victims of domestic violence from further violent acts, to protect children and the elderly from household violence and to hold offenders accountable for their actions," county state's attorney Dario J. Broccolino said in the statement.
Since 1999, the domestic violence caseload has increased 40 percent in Howard County, according to the statement.
With the grant money, the office will hire a domestic violence legal assistant to support a staff that is trained in domestic violence and consists of a full-time prosecutor, a victim advocate and an administrative assistant. With the addition, the team will make up a formal domestic violence unit.
The legal assistant will be responsible for getting case evidence and other information, preparing subpoenas for witnesses and records, preparing motions and court notices, and organizing discovery materials, according to the statement.