The University of Maine at Augusta’s Campus Alliance Project recently collaborated with the Maine Chiefs of Police Association to provide a statewide, two-part training to Maine’s law enforcement community on stalking provided by the nationally recognized Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center organization. This training was funded in part by a grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.

Stalking is an often under-reported crime. In an effort to raise awareness, UMA through its Campus Alliance Project joined with the Maine Chiefs of Police to bring the nation’s best stalking awareness, prevention, and response training to law enforcement agencies across the state in a two-part online training May 12 and June 8. The SPARC organization produced a customized, comprehensive training specific for law enforcement covering topics such as advances in technology, collection of evidence and jurisdictional policy review that aid in the investigation and prosecution of stalking crimes.

Invited to join in this training were individuals in organizations who work in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault prevention throughout Maine. When law enforcement and advocates work in tandem with survivors, generally higher arrest and prosecution rates result. The UMA Campus Alliance Project supports efforts, such as this statewide training, that seek to reduce the prevalence of gender-based violence in any form, especially stalking.   

The Campus Alliance Project was established in 2017 by the UMA Dean of Students’ Office as an initiative to help reduce intimate partner violence across Maine. UMA applied for, and was awarded, a highly competitive three-year federal grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. UMA created a Coordinated Community Response Team comprised of UMA administrators, victim services advocates, and law enforcement to carry out the objectives of the grant. This recent training, and future programs funded by the OVW grant, are part of UMA’s efforts to work with the community to provide a coordinated response and reduce the rates of dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 

UMA transforms the lives of students of every age and background across the State of Maine and beyond through access to high-quality distance and on-site education, excellence in student support, civic engagement, and professional and liberal arts programs.  For more information, please visit https://www.uma.edu/.