ROY -- The city will use federal grant money to hire an advocate to work with victims of domestic violence.
The part-time employee will stick with victims of domestic violence from the time the crime through the court process.
City Prosecutor Trent Nelson sought the $15,000 grant. The advocate will work about 15 hours per week.
City Attorney Andy Blackburn said the advocate would be great asset to the city and to the prosecuting attorney who often doesn't have the time to help victims to understand their rights or even what the court process is.
"There are a lot of questions and a lot of issues they can help them with," Blackburn told the city council at a recent meeting. "It will take a lot off the prosecutor."
The grant requires no local match, and the position is only for about one year. Once that time is up, Blackburn said Nelson will look for other grants if the advocate is working well for the city.
"This is one of the biggest things we face today," City Councilman Willard Cragun said of domestic violence. Cragun worked for the Ogden Police Department before his retirement and said there are many more cases of domestic violence in the area now than there were 20 years ago.
"Those folks have nowhere to go and are usually unaware of their legal rights," Cragun said.
He thinks the advocate will not only aid the prosecuting attorney, but also help the police department, even to give them peace of mind that the victims will get some kind of guidance.
City Councilman Michael Stokes was the only council member who voted against accepting the grant. He voted "no" because it is federally funded.
"We are spending into oblivion ... that is a tremendous concern. They are giving out money hand over fist," Stokes said.
He agreed that the grant is for a good cause but said the spending has to stop somewhere.
"Most folks say they want to stop it but then we see the money, take the check and move forward," Stokes said.
City Councilman John Cordova agreed with Stokes but said that the grant was a valuable one.
Blackburn told the council that if it's something they think victims of domestic violence can use in Roy, then they can move forward.
Cragun suggested talking to state legislators about making more state money available to fund those types of things.
The council accepted the grant by a 4-1 vote, and the city will hire the advocate in the coming weeks.