Hundreds of suspects in misdemeanor domestic violence cases have yet to be arrested because of a backlog of warrants waiting to be served, says the Anchorage Daily News. Even when they go to court, they may not follow the judge’s orders because there’s often no one checking up on them, police Capt. Bill Miller said. The violent partners — usually boyfriends or husbands but sometimes girlfriends or wives — may think they can get away with bad behavior because no one is holding them accountable. That could change with the help of new grants to pay for officer overtime and the hiring of police and other staff to check on offenders.
The Anchorage Women’s Commission is seeking feedback on a draft city report analyzing domestic violence incidents reported to police from 1989 to 2002. The analysis tries to identify factors most likely to turn a routine domestic violence case into a deadly one. The work was prompted in part by the state’s high rate of women murdered by men, said Carrie Longoria of the Anchorage Safe City program. Reports of domestic violence to police are on the decline. The rate fell almost 25 percent between 1998 and 2002, dropping from 1,470 reports per 100,000 residents to 1,105. Longoria credits the progress in part to a better educated public and less tolerance of intimate partners punching, shoving or otherwise battering each other.