COUNTY PROSECUTOR HANDLES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES
One on One: County prosecutor handles domestic violence cases
One on One: County prosecutor handles domestic violence casesThough he's not a police officer, Ben Harmer's job has a lot to do with keeping the peace in local neighborhoods.
Harmer is a Bannock County deputy prosecuting attorney who handles all cases involving domestic violence or harassment crimes.
"It's one of the best
jobs I've ever had," Harmer said.
One of Harmer's
diving stories happened near Pearl Harbor when Ben and his friend found
an unexploded shell, probably from the Japanese attack of Dec. 7, 1941
- the day planes bombed Pearl Harbor, launching the United States into
World War II.
"It's kind of like
catching the wrong bus," Harmer said. "You know it's not going the
After awhile, a
of Japanese people spotted the two young men. After trying to
communicate with the sailors, Harmer and his friend realized they
didn't speak English.
Hawaii was one of many
places Harmer lived as a child because his father was in the Army. He
also lived in Germany, and on four different occasions, in Texas.
Harmer attended college
at Brigham Young University, majoring in communications, followed by
law school at Southern Methodist University in Texas.
When Bannock County received a grant
to prosecute domestic crimes, Harmer wanted the job because he wants to
help people who have a problem, both abusers and victims.
In such cases, the proper approach isn't punishment as much as it is rehabilitation, he said.
Harmer said prosecutors aren't trying to break up families, but rather attempting to improve their situation.
"Some defendants can't see the problem, so the court can help them see it," he said.
Because he enjoys his job, Harmer isn't setting many goals for future employment.
"For now, I'm really happy here," he said. "I love prosecuting. Mark Hiedeman (Bannock County chief prosecuting attorney) is an open-door resource who gives me help when needed, but still gives me a lot of discretion. He treats me like a professional."