Dallas Police May Visit Most Vulnerable Domestic Violence Victims

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Long after the screaming and the flurry of fists, after the 911 report is taken and the case is filed, Dallas police want domestic violence victims to know that they still care, says the Dallas Morning News. Police are considering a home-visit program where officers would personally check on the most vulnerable victims. They hope that strategy would help victims feel supported and prevent abusers from escalating the violence. “Just the knocking on the door … is going to send a message to both the victim and the perpetrator,” said Lt. Miguel Sarmiento, who oversees the family violence unit.

Sarmiento and Maj. Rob Sherwin traveled to New York City to see how home visits work there. Something similar in Dallas would fall in line with the department's effort to prevent domestic violence murders — 21 so far this year — by focusing on high-risk situations. Last year, officers began using the lethality assessment program, a yes-or-no questionnaire to determine whether a victim is in imminent danger. In January, police prioritized serving family violence warrants to repeat offenders and abusers most likely to cause immediate harm. “What we're trying to do is go to that next level,” Sherwin said.

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