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Deadly Secrets: Violence in the Police Family

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 64 Issue: 11 Dated: (November 1995) Pages: 12-16
L D Lott
Date Published
5 pages
Police agencies must create and maintain an organizational climate that supports and assists employees and must have clear policies on detecting and addressing domestic assault problems when they occur in police families, because numerous studies reveal the susceptibility of police families to domestic problems.
Police officers rarely receive advice on avoiding domestic disturbances. In addition, they have been less diligent in policing their own than in becoming involved in private citizens' domestic disturbances. Many police agencies lack specific policies concerning the issue, although most agencies conduct both criminal and internal affairs investigations. However, police officers tend to maintain a code of silence about the problems of other officers or to try to mediate their peers' crises themselves. In addition, even when police supervisors intervene, officers often minimize the extent of their problem and resist recommendations for treatment. Voluntary treatment programs in anger control, stress management, and conflict containment techniques usually have poor attendance. Police personnel should know and watch for the many known indicators of domestic assault. Before meaningful intervention is possible, police personnel must acknowledge the existence of the problem and end their secrecy. Photographs and 14 reference notes