A group of Florida sheriffs announced Friday they’ve made more than 2,500 domestic violence arrests and taken about 90 children into protective custody as part of a month-long operation.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is chairman of the Florida Sheriffs Task Force. He says unfortunately the arrests represent just a small fraction of the state’s outstanding domestic violence warrants.
“Domestic violence here in Pinellas County and I can tell you throughout the Bay area—and I’m sure it trends this way throughout the state— remains consistent, remains constant, which is unfortunate. And we run multiple, multiple calls per day to domestic violence incidents," he says.
Gualtieri says 20 percent of the state’s homicides stem from domestic violence. But one of the biggest challenges in fighting domestic violence is getting victims to report it.
“It's important that people get help before the situation gets worse," he says. "In the majority of these cases, these bad situations are not going to self-correct. And there are organizations across Florida where they can get help."