In fall 2009, 36 domestic-violence homicides were reported, up from 21 the year before. Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey ordered immediate changes in the way the department handled domestic abuse.
"It used to be that we would just separate the two parties involved and let them cool off, and that would be it," Ramsey said in a speech at the event. "That was wrong then, and it's wrong now."
In a partnership with the District Attorney's Office, academics from the University of Pennsylvania, and domestic-abuse awareness groups, Ramsey created a program led by Fox to address domestic abuse.
Under Fox's supervision, the department designed a two-page response form for responding officers' use that detailed the complaint; any previous history of abuse, complaints, or court orders; the actions of both victim and offender; and the condition of the scene when police arrived.
Police citywide began using the forms in March 2011, and data from them reports were to be shared with all partner agencies in the effort to stem domestic violence.
In 2011, domestic-violence homicides decreased to 24.
"I think we've moved 25 years in two and a half," said Fox, who is set to retire next week.
For its latest effort, Women Against Abuse is working with two middle schools and three high schools in the city district to encourage conversations about dating and relationships.
The initiative uses the data from the police reports to target schools in areas with the highest rate of domestic violence, said Azucena Ugarte, the group's director of education and training.
Contact Samantha Byles at 215-854-2771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.