Domestic violence awareness effort honors deputy slain in the line of duty
Griffith was killed on March 2, 1995, in Ravendale, by a lone gunman, who began shooting as four deputies opened the doors of their patrol cars at about 8:45 a.m.
Freemen gathered a group in front of the Lassen County Courthouse last week to place the annual LFS wreath in Griffith’s honor on the memorial in front of the courthouse.
Undersheriff Si Bollinger and Dan Stowell, chief of superior court security, placed the wreath on the memorial just after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
“Domestic violence affects everyone,” Freeman said. “It affects all cultures, race, religion, ethnic background and age. It’s no respecter of persons.”
Freeman said the domestic violence cycle continues in its effects on the children exposed to it. In Lassen County, the sheriff’s department responded to 45 calls in 2006 and made 35 arrests. From January to the present, deputies responded to 49 calls and made 15 arrests.
Lassen Family Services, Inc. provided services last fiscal year to 182 domestic violence victims and housed 95 women and children at its women’s shelter.
LFS offers prevention, intervention, and assistance services for domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse in Lassen County. It also helped victims obtain 82 restraining orders. Freeman said LFS helped with eight restraining orders on one recent day in the last couple of weeks.
The number of people the non-profit agency provides services to is increasing, she said. In fiscal 2006-07 it served 22 men, a higher than usual number of people with disabilities and members of a great variety of ethnic groups including, German, Russian, Latino and Asian.
She thanked the sheriff’s office, Susanville Police, and the Lassen County District Attorney’s office for their assistance in helping victims of domestic violence.
Deputy LFS Director Kathy Foster, a domestic violence survivor, commended Griffith for his bravery and pointed out that, in addition to being an honorable law enforcement officer, Griffith was also a husband, father and friend to many in Lassen County.
Foster said she could only imagine the grief his friends, family and fellow officers suffered.
“The loss of any person due to domestic violence should never happen,” Foster said. “Especially when we lost an honorable man who took an oath to uphold justice for us all. I grieve deeply for Deputy Griffith and for all who have lost loved ones due to the unfortunate continuum of the cycle of domestic violence.”
She reiterated the theme of the national observance, “Together we can stop the cycle of domestic violence.”
District Attorney Bob Burns thanked LFS for its annual effort to remind the local community of Griffith’s sacrifice.
For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, LFS also displays an oversized purple ribbon inside the courthouse foyer and banners at the east and west end of Susanville to increase public awareness of domestic violence in the community.
LFS services include 24-hour emergency response, emergency shelter, emergency food, clothing, and transportation, law enforcement and hospital accompaniment, legal services for restraining orders and support groups.
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