Steve Edmondson, domestic violence investigator for the Sagadahoc County District Attorney’s Office, joined area law enforcement leaders and public safety advocates Tuesday in unveiling what they’re calling “3 a.m. cards.”
The sturdy, laminated reference cards list phone numbers for various medical and domestic violence support organizations that enlist live operators 24 hours a day. Edmondson said the cards will be handed out to all law enforcement officers working in county, state and local departments in Sagadahoc and eastern Cumberland counties.
Edmondson said the inspiration for the cards “came from anecdotal information from officers, who had all these brochures with them, but didn’t know which numbers to call at 3 a.m.” We nicknamed it the ‘3 a.m. card’ because that’s when an officer is going to be at one of these scenes, where they’ll need to get ahold of a live person to make a referral,” he continued.
Edmondson said members of the Sagadahoc County and Eastern Cumberland County Working Group on Family Violence then conducted a survey of area law enforcement officers and the anecdotal accounts were confirmed: “The consistent theme was not knowing what number to call to get live help during those late-night or early morning incidents.”
Operators or counselors at the listed organizations will be prepared to arrange transportation to a safe location for the victims of the domestic violence, help take steps toward filing for protection orders and make more permanent living accommodations for survivors of abuse looking to escape an abusive situation.
“This card gives officers phone numbers to call 24 hours a day to get ahold of a live operator to help the victim,” Edmondson said.
The concept is simple enough, and Edmondson said the cards have piqued the interest of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association for wider distribution throughout the state.
Jim Peavey, chairman of the working group, noted that veterans support organizations are listed on the card as well. He said area law enforcement officials have worked aggressively to develop and revise the cards during the past year.
“(Officers like Edmondson, Bath Police Chief Michael Field and Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry) don’t just come along and show up at the party,” Peavey said. “They’re leaders in this effort.”
Help for domestic violence survivors
The phone numbers listed in what area law enforcement officials are calling “3 a.m. cards” are staffed 24 hours a day by live operators or counselors. Here are some of those numbers:
Statewide Emergency Hotline — 866-834-4357
Family Crisis Services — 721-0199
Statewide crisis & support line — 800-871-7741
SASSMM — 800-822-5999, 725-1500 or 725-2181
Child Protective Services (DHHS) — 800-452-1999
Elder and adult abuse
Adult Protective Services (DHHS) — 800-624-8404
Mental health crisis, suicide prevention
Sweetser Crisis Team — 373-3003
After 5 p.m. & weekends — 800-273-8255
Daytime — 623-8411
Emergency rooms and medical help
Mid Coast Hospital — 729-0181
Parkview Adventist Medical Center — 373-2000
Poison Control Center — 888-568-1112
Jim Peavey, chairman of the Sagadahoc County and Eastern Cumberland County Working Group on Family Violence, holds a family violence reference card he and Sagadahoc County Domestic Violence investigator Steve Edmondson, left, distribute to law enforcement officers working with Sagadahoc Sheriff Joel Merry, right, and Bath Police Chief Mike Field.
Steven Edmondson has been a Law Enforcement Officer in Maine for 34 years, serving the last 8 as the Domestic Violence Investigator for the District Attorney’s Office. This position involves furthering investigations of reported domestic violence in Sagadahoc County as well as enhancing community awareness on the issue. Steve works with local law enforcement, bail supervision agencies as well as Domestic Violence Advocacy Agencies to provide appropriate resources to individual cases and assistance to victims of domestic abuse.
Steve currently Chairs the DV Investigator’s Group of Maine and was appointed to the Maine Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse by the Governor.
For the past 15 years, Steve has written and published numerous articles, columns and editorials in local newspapers on issues involving domestic abuse. We have provided a link to several of these articles for you to read.