SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office won a 2015 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its program titled “Animal Cruelty Task Force” in the category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety.
The NACo Achievement Award Program, now in its 44th years, recognizes groundbreaking programs and innovative county government programs across the nation.
The San Bernardino County Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) is a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration, designed to promote community awareness, education, investigation and prosecution of animal fighting and abuse in San Bernardino County.
Created by the District Attorney’s Office in 2012, ACT is comprised of over 40 agencies from counties all throughout Southern California.
According to District Attorney Mike Ramos, in recent months, ACT has started focusing more on the link between animal violence and human violence.
“We’re starting to see a strong connection between domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and animal abuse,” District Attorney Ramos said. “A batterer’s first victim is usually an animal followed by a child or partner.”
Ramos added that this overlap in crime—also known as the LINK—shows the overwhelming need for collaborative efforts between various partners, including social services, law enforcement and the community.
The award is scheduled to be presented at NACo’s 2015 Annual Conference and Exposition July 10–13 in Mecklenburg County, N.C.