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Police Interactions With Victims of Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2019
29 pages
This is the Draft Final Summary Overview of the methodology and findings of a study with the objective of increasing understanding of the characteristics of police-victim interactions, with a focus on the context of non-domestic incidents of violent victimization, such as robbery, assaults, and other interpersonal conflicts that involve adult victims.
The study was mainly interested in police-victim interactions that involve "dual-role victims," defined by this study as "victims of non-domestic violent crime (i.e., simple and aggravated assaults, robberies, and calls for service involving shots fired/fights) who also have a criminal history and/or are known gang members." The study site was Schenectady, New York, a city of just over 65,000 residents. The definition of a dual-role victim was applied to victims who were in the Schenectady Police Department's (SPD's) administrative fields between January 1, 2015, and August 31, 2018. A total of 123 dual-role victims were identified, representing 3.9 percent of all victims of non-domestic violence during the period examined. In the 3 years preceding their victimization, 81 percent of the dual-role victims had at least one prior arrest for committing a violent crime (felony or misdemeanor), with half having arrests for a serious violent offense. The study convened focus groups with patrol officers and detectives in order to develop a framework for characterizing types of victims and how officers interact with various victim types. In spite of multiple efforts to contact the identified dual role victims, only one interview was conducted, so this component of the study plan was eliminated. Using multiple methodologies, police mindsets and practices in interacting with various victim types were identified. Extensive tabular data

Date Published: September 1, 2019