Apparently Saving People From Domestic Violence Is An 'Idea'

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This letter is in response to last week's recording of the Budget Committee. An unwarranted statement was made in regards to SAVE's request for support from the county. Mr. Kevin George (a County Commissioner for District 3) made the statement that “Anyone could come up with an idea.” Numerous people including myself are appalled by this and would like to know just what exactly did Mr. George mean by that statement?

He also stated that “the county already funds the Sheriff's Department, EMS, etc and that the government couldn't afford anymore of these ideas.”

Is providing a service for domestic violence victims an idea? Webster's Dictionary defines Idea as a thought or a concept. I did not know that providing services for victims of violence was a thought or concept. I thought it was a law, not to mention the moral thing to do.

Since Sept. 8, 2008 this agency has provided services for 325 individuals in Cannon County (157 Children, 134 Women, 25 Males and 11 Senior Adults). It's true, I have applied for several federal grants to help with this agency that would allow us to fund our current services, hire much needed additional staff and expand our scope of services. The grants are wonderful and helpful but are only a temporary solution.

We need a long-term solution and the support of our county and the protection of its citizens. In order to keep this program, we not only need the support and understanding of our county, but we need the funding as well.

I have a degree in social work and could get a job today in another county in the same field. However, I truly believe in this program and want it to succeed for the victims of this county. Comments were made that if we received the grants the county would then help fund. What does this have to do with the county providing funding for this agency?

Speaking of the victims, Tennessee Code 36-3-604 states that the county court clerk “shall” provide Order of Protection Forms and “shall” assist victims in filing out the orders. Since I began working for SAVE in 2008, the court clerks have not provided this service. SAVE currently keeps this county in compliance.

By law (Tennessee Code 26-3-619) when officers go to a domestic call they they “shall” offer to transport a victim to safety. Currently officers contact this office and ask for assistance when needed. This again in turn helps the county by allowing the officers to remain on patrol.

By law (Tennessee Code 26-3-619) officers have the authority to arrest abusers even if the victim is reluctant to press charges. If a Respondent (abuser) violates an order of protection (36-3-611), officers again “shall”arrest the Respondent. Judges have the power to revoke Respondents bail and they can hold the Respondent in jail for 10 days for every violation of the Order of Protection. With these and other laws in place for domestic violence does this not make it a lot more than just an “idea”?

I am disappointed, Commissioners are supposed to be professional individuals, elected by the people to represent and ensure this county does what is best for its citizens. Not only was this program insulted but victims everywhere.

The above statement was only the beginning. Mr. George also told a joke under his breath to Mr. Mark Barker who apparently found it funny. Do not take my word for it. Please go online and listen. The video in question is on the Click on Budget Meeting: There is no Chief Deputy, No Sergeant at CCSO. Go to the video marked for SAVE, 911 and Election commission.

SAVE will be going before the full Commission Board on June 26, 2010 to ask for each Commissioners vote on funding for our program. Like the many volunteers of SAVE and myself, there are numerous supporters for this agency who strongly feel victims rights are a must not an Idea.

If you would like more information about this agency or how you can help, please contact this office at 615-563-6690.

Thank You.

Lisa Baird, Director
Cannon County SAVE
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Members Opinions:
June 03, 2010 at 5:45pm
everyone knows the domestic violence laws are abused beyond belief. women have their husbands arrested and run right back to them after THEY bail them out of jail. as for lisa baird i have never been impressed. i figured her out when she was begging for herself a salary last year at the city council.

btw i listened to what commissioner george said and it seemed like a valid concern about how abused the domestic violence laws are. but nice try lisa, i hope the commission doesnt give you a dime of my money!

and another thing, if you are so highly sought after, why dont you go to that other county that seems to want you so much and work. maybe you wont have to go around begging for a salary for yourself there.
June 03, 2010 at 10:18pm
I believe the SAVE program is a much needed and valuable program for this county. Lisa Baird does a very good job working with victums and what she is compensated is not nearly enough for the time she spends. Lisa is on call 24/7 and you can reach her if you have a domestic crisis. She knows what to do, how to get Orders of Protection, how to contact deputies, how to get you help, protection, food and emergency shelter. Lisa will go with you before a Judge and be an advocate for you in whatever you need. Sadly domestic violence is on the increase - yes, even in Cannon County. If Cannon County can subsidize the REACH program then the County should certainly make funds available for the type of personal service to victums in crisis offered by SAVE.

Domestic Violence is not a joke and not a laughing matter and should be something taken seriously by the County Commissioners. Tax payer money would be much better spent on SAVE than on some of the unneccessary things being approved on the budget.
June 03, 2010 at 10:25pm
To tcraw.This is why this county is in such a bad shape. People like you are not aware of how bad things can be. Hope you never need help from law enforcement here because you will be in deep poo.
June 03, 2010 at 10:42pm
Lisa you do a great job. Dont let other people get you down. Its easy for someone who has never experienced or known someone that has experienced domestic violence to say those things. When its you or someone you love its a different story. It would be nice if we all had money or had family with money to help us out of those situations, but that is not the case. First time Cannon County has a big law suit because they arent compliant then they will change their tunes. As sad as i am to say it... its coming. How would you feel if it was your daughter, mother, sister, son, father, or brother that this happened to? Domestic violence happens at any social statis, any race, any age, and any sex. Im sure if Lisa Baird didnt need the money she would love to volunteer her time. By the way she works 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It doesnt matter if she has worked 8-16 hours if she gets a call in the middle of the night she has to respond just like an officer of the law. She deserves to get paid too. We pay the officers salaries through our taxes why cant we help with domestic violence also. I am not hearing her ask for the county to cover everything just help her out till the grants start rolling in.
June 04, 2010 at 5:49am
"that the government couldn't afford anymore of these ideas.”
Georges over the years have farmed the government for tens of thousands of dollars--don't know about Kevin but has listings for Georges in Cannon County that show they received over $800,000 in farm subsidies. It does not appear all Georges are adversed to receiving government money.

June 04, 2010 at 6:31am
My earlier failed to point out that the Barkers, locally, have sucessfully farmed the government for over $200,000 also.

June 04, 2010 at 10:18am
Ms Baird, thank you for all you do. Your reward will be greater than any amount of money. I do not understand why the commission does not take the money for the two nonexistent positions at the sherriff's department and give that money to SAVE.

As for "tcraw", obviously you have never watched a victim suffer. The children of these relationships are COMPLETELY innocent and helpless. Please look in your heart and find compassion.
June 04, 2010 at 10:20am
Thank You Lisa for standing up for the victims and the S.A.V.E. program. I know you are a strong & passionate person and will not back down when you are in the right. For thoughs who have never experienced violence first hand, it is extremely hard to trust anyone and to have a person willing to stand up for you is a blessing. Cannon County has a well experienced person to help go to war with the victims of violence and everyone needs to recongize that Lisa Baird does an excellent job at it. All this bickering between officials is getting beyond silly we need to be adults and help our county because the kid in us needs to stay home. Thank You Lisa for all you do for Cannon County residents.
June 07, 2010 at 10:15pm
Let it happen to one of their children, they will change their tune.Until it hits home people like that can never understand. Believe me Lisa you do a good job. Hold your head up and know there are many people in your corner.
June 17, 2010 at 4:41pm
to: tcraw
would't it be better if you just moved to another co. would you work 24/7 free like Lisa Does. work a week with her than write a comment. carrie
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