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Police chief recognized for domestic violence prevention

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published October 6, 2015

 Lisa Turbeville, Common Ground Sanctuary legal service manager, presents Hawkins with his award. Turbeville nominated Hawkins for the honor.

Lisa Turbeville, Common Ground Sanctuary legal service manager, presents Hawkins with his award. Turbeville nominated Hawkins for the honor.

Photo by Donna Agusti

PONTIAC — Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins was recognized recently for his efforts in deterring domestic violence.

In a ceremony held at noon Oct. 1 in the Oakland County Board of Commissioners Auditorium in Pontiac, Hawkins was among seven other people and groups to be awarded for their efforts.

Judge Derek Meinecke, of the 44th District Court in Royal Oak, presented the awards to the recipients.

Meinecke praised Hawkins for his efforts in volunteering with Common Ground Sanctuary’s crisis line and his work with his law enforcement team, which encourages the prevention of domestic violence. Common Ground provides services for families and individuals in crisis.

“Chief Hawkins has made vast efforts to collaborate with agencies throughout Oakland County to work towards promotion of a safer community and to protect all citizens. He understands the importance of educating law enforcement to provide them with the skills, tools, compassion, respect and empathy needed in a crucial situation like domestic violence,” Meinecke said. “Chief Hawkins has been a tremendous role model for Common Ground, law enforcement officers and the greater community.”

Hawkins said he was honored to receive the award.

“It’s an honor because domestic violence is really something that is destroying families, and it’s something that’s affecting men and women,” Hawkins said. “I’m honored to be recognized by this fine council for some of the work that the Southfield Police Department is doing in this area.”

Magistrate James Paterson, of the Southfield  District Court, was also honored for his efforts in no contact orders in domestic violence situations.

The ceremony featured presentations by Haven,  a nonprofit organization for victims of domestic violence; the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office; and William Beaumont Hospital. Domestic violence survivor Christopher Letts delivered the keynote speech, and a moment of remembrance was offered to all those who have lost their lives at the hands of domestic violence.

“Twenty-five years ago, complete strangers gave my sister and I a new life, and because of the wonderful men and women who generously supported a women’s shelter, not only (were) our lives ... forever changed, but my wife’s, our future children’s and our future grandchildren’s, because we are now raising our family in a culture where domestic violence is unacceptable,” Letts said.