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Suffolk County Legislature To Vote On Domestic Violence Policy Bill

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The Suffolk County Legislature is expected to vote on a domestic violence policy bill Tuesday.

Under the legislation, Suffolk County police would receive new tools for differentiating offenders at highest risk of escalating domestic violence and provide training for victim advocates.

Suffolk County Legislature To Vote On Domestic Violence Policy Bill

Police would use a computer program that "automatically collects and analyzes data from internal police records and produces a score that will identify offenders who are most likely to recidivate in domestic violence offenses," Suffolk County Police Sgt. Kelly Lynch said.

The bill will also "assist victims of domestic violence in recognizing the danger of being victimized again," according to the bill's sponsor, Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket).

"This tool is going to let them see on paper, 'Wow, I really am at risk; the person who is supposed to love me I'm at risk that they could actually further injure me and even kill me,'" said Colleen Merlo of the police department's Domestic Violence Bureau.

Domestic violence is a growing concern with 38 women murdered over the last five years in Suffolk County, Hahn said.

In 2013, there were 4,000 other reports of domestic violence in the county.

"Domestic violence as we know is something that escalates and we need to stop the cycle," Hahn told 1010 WINS. "I believe this is a really important first step."

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