Item Coversheet

Board Action Request

Item Description:
Agmt A2110736 with the MN Dept of Public Safety, Office of Justice Programs to provide sexual assault prosecution efforts in suburban police departments, 04/01/21-12/31/22, $231,500 (recv)

BE IT RESOLVED, that Agreement A2110736 with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Justice Programs to provide sexual assault prosecution efforts in suburban police departments for the period April 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022 in the receivable amount of $231,500 be approved; that the Chair of the Board be authorized to sign the Agreement on behalf of the County; and that the Controller be authorized to accept and disburse funds as directed; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the acceptance of grant funding does not imply a continued funding commitment by the County for this program when the grant funds are no longer available; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a supplemental appropriation of $96,370 and 1.0 FTE Attorney position be applied to the 2021 Hennepin County Attorney's Office budget.


This Violence Against Women Act Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors (VAWA STOP) grant provides funding to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) for a veteran sexual assault prosecutor to embed within Hennepin County’s suburban police departments to improve the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases. VAWA STOP is a federal grant program under the Department of Justice to enhance the capacity of local communities to develop and strengthen effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to combat violent crimes against women and to develop and strengthen victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women. The request for this proposal asked grant applicants to focus on serving underserved populations, reducing domestic homicides, or addressing missing and murdered Indigenous women.


In 2018, HCAO created its Sexual Assault Initiative to address gaps in the criminal justice response to sexual assault cases. Part of that Initiative involved embedding a sexual assault prosecutor within the Minneapolis Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit. Evaluative measures show that this has resulted in significant improvements in the way sexual assault cases are handled in Minneapolis. Suburban police departments in Hennepin County have expressed a strong interest in partnering with HCAO in a similar way. This embedded suburban prosecutor will work with all non-MPD agencies, with a particular focus on core partners who have the highest volume of sexual assault cases and serve the highest proportion of victims of color. Like the MPD embedded prosecutor, this prosecutor will focus on training and advising law enforcement, training partners from other disciplines, collaborating with advocacy to improve victim access to services, and coordinating system response between law enforcement, advocacy, prosecution, forensic laboratories, and SANEs.


HCAO applied for this VAWA STOP grant funding in February 2021 and the project was awarded $231,500 on April 6, 2021. HCAO is the sole recipient of the grant award over the 21-month grant period from April 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022. The grant provides $217,500 for a 1.0 FTE prosecutor position and $6,000 for computer and phone services, and mileage to support that position. The grant also provides $8,000 for interpreter services to ensure effective communication with non-English speaking victims.


An overview of grant funding and staffing is outlined below. Please note that while the grant period was intended to begin April 1, 2021, HCAO staff will not start work on the grant until May 2021 after project coordination efforts are finalized.




Year 1

Year 2







Interpreter Services





Miscellaneous (laptop, phone, mileage)















Recommendation from County Administrator: Recommend Approval