Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson on Thursday announced the creation of a specialized Domestic Violence Unit of the Municipal Prosecutor’s Office, specifically targeting domestic violence in Anchorage. He named prosecutor Monica Elkinton as deputy municipal prosecutor in charge of the unit, made up of five long-time prosecutors, four administrative support staff, and two Anchorage Police Department officers.
The Municipal Prosecutor’s Office handles almost all the misdemeanor criminal charges in the boundaries of the Municipality of Anchorage, which is over 10,000 cases per year. Domestic Violence cases (such as assault, criminal mischief/destruction of property, and other crimes) consist of roughly half of the crimes prosecuted by the office. The Domestic Violence Unit specifically focuses on crimes involving intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, as well as animal abuse and neglect cases that can be a precursor to domestic violence against partners or household members.
The MOA also prosecutes a unique crime called “Family Violence,” which consists of committing a domestic violence assault in the presence of a child, an act which has been shown to have long-term trauma consequences on children’s brain development. Each of the specially-trained prosecutors handle caseloads of 300-500 cases at once. The APD officers stationed in the domestic violence unit are charged with enforcing bail and sentence conditions, which prohibit abusers from contacting their victims after arrest.
In addition to Elkinton, Mayor Bronson appointed Travers Gee, another deputy municipal prosecutor in charge of general trial cases at the Prosecutor’s Office. Both will serve under Municipal Prosecutor Sarah Stanley.
Elkinton, Gee, and Stanley are all long-term employees of the Municipality and have served under several administrations.
Click below to watch Deputy Municipal Prosecutor Monica Elkinton discuss the new specialized unit.