County's Domestic Abuse Unit Overwhelmed

Target Abuser Call (TAC) aims to prevent murder

Launched in 1997 to identify and actively pursue the most serious misdemeanor domestic violence cases, the state's attorney's Target Abuser Call, or TAC, program has won high praise, but the office is severely overwhelmed, according to a report in Thursday's Chicago Tribune.

Poised to handle up to 30 cases of "high-risk domestic violence" a week, the Tribune reports that the reality is that the TAC unit is seeing closer to 90 cases coming in.

Each case is handled by a team of prosecutors, investigators and victims' advocates.

The Tribune sites the case of Frederick Goings, charged with domestic battery for allegedly choking Angela McClinton and later accused of punching Susanna Cornish, sending her to the hospital.

Now, the Chicago attorney is charged charged with the murders of Nova Henry and her infant daughter, fathered by former Chicago Bull Eddy Curry. They were found slain Jan. 25 in Henry's South Loop townhouse.

The Tribune reports:

"Does [Goings] fit the Target Abuser Call program criteria? Yes," said Bridget Healy Ryan, an executive assistant in the state's attorney's office, which is seeking to expand the program. "But so do a lot of people who come through our door ... They're all serious. They're all scary, and you want to take every last one of them, but you can't."

Advocates say TAC does not have the resources to go after all of the offenders flagged as potentially dangerous. A federally funded review found the program was pursuing only 30 of 90 offenders identified each week as being at high risk of committing murder.

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