Wednesday Jan 11 2012
Rocklin's top cop named president of PEACE board
By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
Ron Lawrence praises work of agency
Rocklin’s top cop was named president of the PEACE for Families Board of Directors on Monday night. Police Chief Ron Lawrence has served on the board since 2010, including one term as vice president. Started in 1974 as a rape crisis hotline, PEACE for Families has evolved into a non-profit agency that provides survivors of domestic and sexual violence with services and resources and works to foster communities where abuse is not tolerated. “I am honored to serve in the role of president for such a wonderful non-profit organization as PEACE for Families,” Lawrence said. “The service PEACE provides residents and victims in Placer County is an important segment of the criminal justice system.” Lawrence started his law enforcement career in 1990, joined the Rocklin police force in 2006 and was promoted to police chief in 2011. Throughout his career, Lawrence noted, domestic violence calls have been the most prevalent and the most difficult. So, it seemed natural to accept PEACE for Families’ invitation to join the board of directors. “Because of his work in the community, Chief Lawrence has a unique understanding of the role that PEACE for Families plays for residents of Placer County,” said Michelle D. Coleman, PEACE for Families’ executive director. “His leadership, vision, and willingness to take on a tough task are assets that will help us continue to move forward.” Lawrence recognizes the value of the agency’s partnership with law enforcement. With PEACE volunteers or staff assisting the victim, he explained, officers can turn their attention to investigating the crime and bringing the criminals to justice. “While we hire officers who are compassionate, empathetic and understanding, they simply don’t have the time or the specialized training that PEACE for Families advocates have,” Lawrence said. “I can tell you that of the many sexual assault and rape cases I’ve investigated throughout my career, the victim advocates who volunteer their time at the emergency room to assist us are some of the most welcome sights a police officer can have.” As board president, Lawrence wants to raise public awareness of the services provided by the agency. “I know our county is still struggling with people not knowing who we are and what we do,” he said. “And I want to make sure our services are available to everyone. Obviously, funding continues to be an issue.” Lawrence explained the board’s role is also to support upcoming fundraising events, including the Survivors Run on May 20 in Maidu Regional Park and the annual Oktoberfest luncheon. He also hopes to organize “Meet and Greet” events in private homes as another opportunity to raise funds. Lawrence resides in Rocklin with his wife, Jennifer. He has an 18-year-old son, Eddie, and three stepchildren, Taylor, Jake and Zach. PEACE provides a 24-hour crisis line (800-575-5352) and emergency shelter for domestic violence victims. Offices in Roseville and Auburn offer therapy, legal advocacy, assistance and resources at no charge to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault as well as their families/significant others. A crisis intervention training for anyone interested in volunteering for the agency will start in January. For more information about volunteer opportunities, call (530) 823-6224.