LIHU‘E — County Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Like requested Kaua‘i County Council approval last week to receive federal grant funds to aid in the county’s ongoing efforts to prosecute drug crimes and domestic violence.
The three grant proposals, totaling more than $180,000, which will be used to fund three positions, were unanimously approved for acceptance by the Kaua‘i County Council last week.
The most-significant grant is for $98,500 to fund 50% of a deputy-prosecutor position focused on methamphetamine trafficking and opioid prosecution.
“This request is in response to community and public-safety concerns associated with drug overdoses and methamphetamine dealing and distribution,” said Like. “This grant will allow us to focus enforcement specifically on these types of cases.”
Like reported that the OPA received 121 cases involving dangerous drugs in 2021, up from 109 in 2020 and 93 in 2019.
Like’s office is applying for a recurring grant of $48,689 to continue to fund the Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit, which will allow the office to continue employing a strategy of vertical prosecution, where the same deputy prosecutor handles cases from start to finish, along with expedited screening.
Like credits this unit within OPA’s high conviction rate of 97% for domestic-violence cases. An additional $35,790 recurring grant is being requested to fund a process-server position, which serves subpoenas and penal summonses.
Source: The Garden Island