ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Two years into a pilot project that aggressively prosecutes domestic violence offenders, Maplewood and White Bear Lake authorities say they've seen more convictions, more trials and fewer downgraded charges.

Officials say those patterns won't change anytime soon because both suburbs allocated more funds to maintain their enhanced approach to such cases, requiring more thorough investigation, intense witness care and a willingness to go to court.

White Bear Lake has budgeted an extra $10,000 to cover the effort, and Maplewood is adding $60,000 to its budget.

White Bear Lake Mayor Jo Emerson says the issue is very important and that people must know the city takes a hard stance on it.

Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell says law enforcement should spend more time on these cases because doing so can prevent homicide and protect families' safety.

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