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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Domestic and Sexual Violence Investigator Assigned

Police Chief Scott P. Livingstone is pleased to announce the reassignment of Detective Janet Lopez as the Amherst Police Department’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Investigator.  Detective Lopez is a 14 year veteran of the department and most recently held the position of Court Liaison Officer.  In this newly developed position, Detective Lopez will be responsible for the criminal investigations of crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, harassment and stalking.  In addition to criminal investigations, Detective Lopez will work closely with other law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups and community organizations to identify best practices to ensure the safety of victims of these crimes and hold offenders accountable.  Further, Detective Lopez will be the department liaison to various advocacy groups including the Northwestern District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Task Force, the Hampshire County Sexual Assault Response Team and the Northwestern District Attorney’s High Risk Domestic Violence Assessment Group.    Detective Lopez will be conducting outreach and community partnership development which will include the 5 College Community, the Amherst Regional School District, the immigrant community and those suffering from disabilities.      

This newly developed position was made possible by a two year grant awarded by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women.  This grant award was obtained in a partnership between the Amherst Police, University of Massachusetts Police, Northampton Police and the Center for Women and Community at UMASS.  Also funded is a Center for Women and Community Civilian Advocate who is assigned to the partner law enforcement agencies.  While services will be provided to all community members, this Department of Justice grant program identifies as a priority addressing violence against female immigrant community members and those with disabilities.   In fiscal year 2012, the Amherst Police investigated 157 domestic violence incidents and 36 sex offenses.    For questions regarding this position, please contact either Captain Jennifer Gundersen at 413-259-3012 or via email at or Detective Janet Lopez at 413-259-3196 or via email.

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