PRYOR, OK —
Domestic Violence Investigator Cpl. Sioux Greninger joined the Pryor Police Department in 1986 as a dispatcher.
The daughter of an assistant fire chief and a nurse, and married to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer, she was around public servants all of her life.
“I wanted to help people,” Greninger said.
She was the first hire for then newly elected Police Chief Dennis Nichols. After six years in dispatch, Greninger moved to patrol, where she stayed until May 2011 when she was named investigator for domestic violence crimes.
The grant-based position was filled by former officer Brent Crittenden until an injury forced an early retirement.
While the grant is in question every year as to whether or not the department is awarded the money to fund the position, there’s is no question as to the need.
“One in every six domestic calls end in an arrest, which usually means that there is visible evidence of injury,” she said.
In 2012, Pryor Police responded to 420 domestic violence calls with 67 cases sent to the district attorney for prosecution.
Greninger feels many things factor into the popularity of domestic violence, including drug use and financial struggles.
“According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Mayes County is third in the state in the distribution of prescribed narcotics,” she said, adding that with the high level of legally prescribed drugs comes the equally high level of illegal sales of the same drugs.
As of last year, Oklahoma is now third in the nation for domestic homicides.
“This crime affects every age, every economic status, every race,” Greninger said. “It does not discriminate.”
Financial issues also affect domestic crimes.
“Only 11 percent of Pryor’s population have more than a high school education,” she said. “That is not an indication of intelligence, it means that most of the population are blue collar. Hard labor for low pay. It takes a toll.”
In 2013, with one month to go, Greninger said the number of domestic calls and cases presented for prosecution exceed last year’s totals.
Instrumental in Greninger’s fight against domestic violence is her relationship with Safenet Services.
“I could not do what I do without them,” she said. Safenet assists women and children of domestic abuse and sexual assault. “They provide so many resources for victims. It’s empowerment for people.”
Greninger knows the statistics show victims will return to their attacker seven times before they finally leave for good, but remains committed to the cause.
“Only they know when they are done,” she said. “I’ll be here for them this time and everytime.”
She also remains committed to hold abusers accountable.
“In Oklahoma, law enforcement are obligated if there is visible injury that an arrest be made,” Greninger said. “It takes the decision to prosecute out of the hands of the victim.”
On a domestic violence offense, it is usually a condition of bond that no contact be made with the victim, regardless if it’s consensual.
“If he violates conditions of bond, that’s where I come in,” she said. “He is returned to jail.”
If children are present during a domestic altercation, it merits a separate charge for the offender.
Greninger encourages victims to seek help.
“Make that phone call,” she said. “There is help out there.”