The Days After
So far this year, more than 9,700 spouses, intimate partners or family members across Louisiana have gone to the courts seeking protection from a loved one. Nearly 500 of those court-issued protective orders came from Lafayette.
For the last seven years, Patsy Taylor and her staff have worked to upload the daily supply of orders into a single, unified database called the Louisiana Protective Order Registry. Since 1997, the registry has collected more than 119,000 orders from across the state. The registry consists solely of court orders issued to prevent domestic abuse and dating violence.
Taylor said the registry's first director recruited her shortly after the registry began.
"When she told me what the courts were doing, I was high-fiving myself. ... I was so excited. I was elated," Taylor said.
The Legislature placed the Judicial Administrator's Office of the Louisiana State Supreme Court in charge of the registry located in New Orleans.
Since 1998, when Taylor came onto the scene, she and her staff have helped transform it into a searchable database for law enforcement, prosecutors, social services and other agencies. Each can use it to find out whether an order has been issued against a suspect. For them, it's as simple as typing a few keys on their computer.
In fact, on any given day that happens an average of 12,000 times nationally, with 13 percent of the database searches yielding a hit.
In 2005 alone, Taylor said they are projecting the registry will receive 23,376 orders, slightly higher than the 2004 numbers of 23,207. Each one of those orders will be scanned into their database and stored electronically so that those who need to see it can.
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