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Victims of Family Violence to Receive Instant Notification When Protective Orders are Served

July 30, 2007 - Austin, Texas

Constable Bruce Elfant announced Monday that victims of family violence can, for the first time, be immediately notified when family violence protective orders are served. Computers funded by the Travis County Commissioners Court have been installed in constable vehicles. This enables deputies to relay important service information such as a respondent’s demeanor or refusal to vacate as soon as service occurs.

Protective order service information has been available on a delayed basis by phone and at Constable5.com, but applicants, their attorneys, victim witness counselors, and law enforcement officers have had to periodically check on service as they were able to do so. Instant e-mail service alerts can be sent to law enforcement agencies, the County Attorney’s office, victims or their attorneys as soon as respondents have been served. Deputies and prosecutors will continue to attempt to contact victims without computer access as quickly as possible.

According to professionals in the family violence arena, the Constable Precinct Five instant Protective Order Alert System (POAS) is a first for Texas and possibly anywhere in the nation. “We know how important it is for victims of family violence to be notified about the service of protective orders as soon as possible,” said Constable Bruce Elfant. “Our ability to provide immediate notice of service will better enable them to make critical decisions regarding their safety and well being".

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