LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Jackson County leaders will review a domestic violence death in the area to try to determine why it happened. The goal is to prevent these kinds of deaths from happening in the future.

Domestic violence awareness advocates held a training session Wednesday at the Lee’s Summit Police Department’s training facility.

They’re looking forward to reviewing their first domestic violence death in September.

“There’s a core group of us that have been working since 2008 to bring about this domestic violence fatality review process,” Rose Brooks Center CEO Lisa Fleming said during a discussion with reporters at the training session. 

Fleming said a panel will select a closed domestic violence death case to review. The panel will be known as the Jackson County Domestic Violence Fatality Review.

“We’ll look at that and then do the work of diving into file reviews and doing interviews with family and friends and coworkers,” Fleming said.

On Wednesday, Fleming helped lead a discussion on looking for domestic violence with Jackson County police chiefs. Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves was briefly in attendance but had to leave for a meeting.

Blue Springs Police Chief Bob Muenz said his department does a pretty good job when it comes to assessing domestic violence situations.

“We have detectives trained to investigate, follow up, and we train our officers to interview and ask the pertinent questions that need to be asked to determine how lethal is the situation that a relationship or the incident, or the situation as I said that the victim may be in,” Muenz said.

Fleming said before the pandemic, the Rose Brooks Center hotline received about 500 calls a month. During the pandemic, they received about 700. Post pandemic, they’ve received about 1,000.

“Do I think that domestic violence has increased in our community? I don’t know that I can say that based on the number of arrests,” she continued.

Fleming said more people in the community have learned to reach out to advocates along with the police. Reviewing the death later this year will hopefully help advocates learn of the root cause of the problem.