Camden County Sheriff's Office receives grant to continue fight against domestic voilence

CAMDENTON, Mo. -- Investigating domestic abuse reports is a priority for the Camden County Sheriff's Office.

"We don't want to leave any domestic [abuse case] un-turned. It's just not a good practice," said Sheriff Tony Helms.

When state grant money came in two years ago for a full time detective to focus on domestic violence, Helms expected about 300 cases to be investigated.

There were many more.

"569 domestic cases that were reported," said. Detective Shawn Kobel. Kobel has been the go-to detective for domestic violence cases over the last two years.

"My main goal is to review those, try to make contact with the victim, look the case over, look to see what needs to be picked up, what needs to be followed up on it," Kobel explained.

He only investigates domestic abuse crimes. This frees up other deputies to work on other cases and gives him more time to get to know and work with victims.

"I can spend the time to actually reach out to them, travel to them if I have to if they're out of the county or out of the state, I can travel to meet with them and I have done that," Kobel said.

Advocacy groups like Citizens Against Domestic Violence say they've noticed a major change having a specialized detective for theses cases in the county.

"The relationship for the victim became much more comfortable, they felt comfortable with the officer because they had an understanding of domestic violence," said Sheree Keely, Executive Director of CADV. "So then they were really willing to partner with them to kind of talk about the case and work through it."

Sheriff Helms is grateful the state is continuing to support his detective's work.

"I'd love to see if we could possibly have another one down the line," Helms said.

The $82,231.00 grant from the Missouri Department of Public Safety will help fund the detective for the next two years.