|Donated ADT Electronic Security Systems Will Help
Protect Victims of Domestic Violence
August 23, 2006 - A program that has
received national acclaim for its efforts to assist in the protection
of victims of domestic violence was launched in Knox County. Called
AWARE (Abused Women's Active Response Emergency), the program places
security systems and emergency necklace pendants in the residences
of battered or abused victims.
Knoxville Police Department, Knox County Sheriff's Office, the Knox
County District Attorney General's Office, the 4th Circuit Court
Judge's Office, the Family Justice Center, the Coalition on Family
Violence, the Knoxville Mayor's Office and ADT Security Services,
Inc. will operate the program as a collaborative effort.
"This unique program features the cooperation of public and
private sectors of the community. Law enforcement officials involved
in the AWARE Program are convinced that it will help curtail the
number of domestic violence crimes that occur in Knox County,"
said Sheriff Tim Hutchison, Knox County Sheriff's Office.
Chief Sterling Owen, IV of the Knoxville Police Department noted,
"We believe this program has the potential to make victims
of domestic violence safer in our community - a vital part of our
law enforcement mission."
Left to Right: Melissa Blaque - Domestic Violence Survivor;
Amy Dilworth - Director of Family Justice Center; Russ Jensen - City
of Knoxville 311 Director; Kathryn O'Day - President & CEO of
Child & Family, Tennessee; Jo Terry - Executive Director of Coalition
of Family Violence; Chief Deputy Tom Spangler - Knox County Sheriff
Office; Chief Sterling Owen - Knoxville Police Department
| After people who meet the necessary criteria are
placed in the program, ADT will install, at no charge, security systems
in each of their homes and provide them with emergency duress alarms
for as long as the need exists. The system can send a silent alarm,
when activated, to ADT's customer monitoring center.
If a person involved in the program feels in imminent danger of attack,
he or she presses either the pendant or the emergency button on the
security system panel mounted in their home. ADT operators can then
alert the appropriate law enforcement agency an AWARE call has been
received. Officers will then be dispatched to the victim's residence
on a priority basis.
"Participants in the AWARE program are victims of domestic abuse
and have been assessed to be in the highest level of danger. The necklace
pendants will serve as another tool to use in life-threatening situations,"
said Amy Dilworth, Executive Director, Family Justice Center. Kathryn
O'Day, Co-Chair, Coalition on Family Violence added, "If a victim
is unable to get to the telephone, having access to the pendant alarm
could potentially save their life."
The plan calls for a system of rotating the security systems and pendants
into the residences of other "at-risk" individuals.
ADT Security Services has been in business in Knox County for more
than 95 years, increasing business as the area has grown. "Being
part of the AWARE program is a natural extension of our support of
the community and our concern for the growing incidence of domestic
violence nationwide," noted Bill Fairbanks, Branch Manager, ADT
Security Services, Inc.
"The AWARE program has been extremely successful nationwide. ADT has
introduced it in one hundred and seventy-seven cities across the country
since January 1992. Our decision to offer AWARE in Knox County was
due to the intense interest expressed by the community," Fairbanks
ADT has plans to expand this program to even more cities in the U.S.
during the coming year. A similar program has been running successfully
in a number of Canadian cities for the past fifteen years.
Celebrating its 131st anniversary, ADT Security Services, Inc., a
unit of Tyco Fire & Security, is the largest provider of electronic
security services to more than six million commercial, government
and residential customers throughout the United States. ADT's total
security solutions include intrusion, fire protection, closed circuit
television, access control, critical condition monitoring, electronic
article surveillance, radio frequency identification and integrated
systems. ADT's web site address is www.adt.com.
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