It has been 10 years since Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe lost his sister, Eleanor, to domestic violence.
It’s still raw.
Monroe said she was beaten to death by her boyfriend, who then committed suicide.
"I searched my own soul and mind trying to understand what the signs were. What should I have seen, or could I have done more?” Monroe said. “Those things continue to haunt you.”
The personal impact has carried over into Chief Monroe’s role leading CMPD.
“I have the ability in my professional life to address the issue,” said Monroe.
Monroe said there were 10 domestic violence-related homicides in Mecklenburg County last year, and 14 deaths in 2010.
The department’s goal is prevention. This week, CMPD was awarded a federal grant to provide officers with training in the Lethal Assessment Program. The program teaches first responders to better assess a scene and determine the likelihood that one individual domestic incident could lead to something more lethal.
The grant also will help train prosecutors and social service agencies. Training will begin in the fall, and the full program should be in place by November.
Monroe said it's an important tool because anyone in a relationship could potentially be at risk.
“For someone who claims that they love someone -- to ultimately look to take their life, that’s something we all need to be concerned with,” Monroe said.