Many Police Agencies Lack Policies On Domestic Violence In Ranks


Domestic violence is two to four times more common among police families than in non-police families, says Women’s eNews, quoting the National Center for Women and Policing, based in Arlington, Va.. If an estimated 10 percent of families experience domestic violence, there are at least 50,000 domestic violence offenders in police ranks. Few police departments have policies and programs to address the problem, the women-and-policing center says (although it relies on a 1994 survey).

Agencies “typically handle such cases informally, often without an official report, investigation, or even a check of the victim’s safety,” the center says. “The reality is that even officers who are found guilty of domestic violence are unlikely to be fired, arrested, or referred for prosecution, raising concern that those who are tasked with enforcing the law cannot effectively police themselves.” Dave Thomas, a retired Montgomery County, Md., police officer, now an instructor with Johns Hopkins University Public Safety Leadership Program, trains police departments to respond to officer-involved domestic violence. Thomas collaborated with the International Association of
Chiefs of Police that in 2003-04 produced a model policy for agencies to follow.

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