SPOONER– The Spooner Police Department and Washburn County Sheriff's Office notified the public through their Facebook pages on Friday afternoon, Oct. 16, that they are ending their "partnership" with Embrace, which provides services to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.
The departments noted that other law enforcement agencies in the county had done the same, as had other agencies in the area. Though their statement did not say why they had terminated the partnership with Embrace, their actions came after Embrace posted a statement in support of People of Color and against racism and violence.
That statement concluded, "Embrace supports the movement for Black Lives. We will hear their words, lift up their voices, and stand in the anti-violence values of our organization. We hope you will join us in breaking the cycle of trauma created by racism and violence."
The departments will begin referring people to a victim advocacy agency in Polk County.
"Prior to ending this partnership, we have contacted CRA (Community Referral Agency) and have provided advocacy information to pass along to victims of abuse," their statements said. "This was done to prevent a gap in advocacy coverage for victims of abuse. We also have available to us, the Washburn County Witness Coordinator, a position that has been in place for many years."
Each said their departments take the "responsibility to serve and protect all our community members very seriously and will continue to do so."
Washburn County said earlier in the day that it would continue to fund services through Embrace (see spooneradvocate.com).
More on this will be in the October 22 edition of the Spooner Advocate.