Domestic violence cases are the "most dangerous" calls

Members of the Pennington County Sheriff's Office join WAVI staff members to indulge sweet treats as they discuss the increase of domestic violence cases. (KOTA TV)

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Domestic abuse calls are the "most dangerous" ones officers face, according to a Pennington County Sheriff's Office sergeant.

With these cases increasing year after year, Working Against Violence Inc., otherwise known as WAVI, is honoring first responders with some sweet treats.

To say thank you for the service first responders provide, WAVI staff members baked batches of sweet goods and brewed up hot cups of coffee.

WAVI Development Director Kristina Simmons said the non-profit served 3,300 cases in 2018 and the numbers are still rising.

She said this year cases are more complex and more victims are coming forward asking for help as they leave their abusive partners.

Last year, WAVI handled more than 1,000 crisis calls.

In 2018, Pennington County officers responded to more than 1,800 domestic violence cases.

But these 911 crisis calls pose an extreme threat to first responders.

Sgt. Paul Stevens with Pennington County Sheriff's Office said nationwide front line officers die from getting involved in these cases.

So far, no serious harm has affected law enforcement in Pennington county, but they run into many scenarios where weapons are present.

"The front line officers that are interjecting into those situations to protect people, yeah, they are putting themselves into great risk. They are aware of that and that's something they are trained for to deal with those situations," Stevens said.

So far this year, Pennington County Sheriff's Office has handled more than 1,400 domestic violence cases.

Stevens said he appreciates the partnership with WAVI as the organization helps provide financial, emotional and physical support for victims.