On Oct. 29 [front page] and Nov. 3 [Metro], The Post published articles criticizing the entry of domestic-violence orders into the Maryland law-enforcement computer systems. But the articles did not look at the effect of lack of adequate funding in this area of law enforcement. The coverage also gave the misleading impression that problems with the handling of domestic-violence orders exist in all Maryland counties.

During 1999 the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office received between 123 and 162 domestic violence restraining orders per month from the district and circuit courts. All of these orders were entered into the appropriate computer system on the same day the office received them. The majority of these orders also were served on the respondent on the day that the office received them.

In addition to the same-day data entry and serving of the orders, the sheriff's office also provides the victims of domestic violence with counseling and protective services. If a victim requests, deputies will conduct two welfare checks at the victim's residence during the initial seven days of a domestic-violence restraining order. The office also offers the victim the use of a cell phone to contact 911 emergency services.



Montgomery County