The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has studied the issue of domestic violence by police officers and has issued a model policy for police departments to follow, the goal of which is zero tolerance for domestic violence among police officers.
Acts of domestic violence by police officers are at least as common as in the general population, but research indicates the possibility of a higher number of incidents among law enforcement professionals. In the case of police officers, a complicating issue is that Federal law stipulates anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or under restraining orders cannot purchase or own a firearm. Another issue involves how a police officer who is an abuser can effectively deal with domestic violence cases he or she investigates as part of the job. Further, research indicates exposure of police officers to domestic violence may make them more liable to commit domestic violence. Education, prevention, and investigation, followed by aggressive prosecution, are necessary to prevent domestic violence by police officers. The challenge is to make help available to police officers without stigma attached. The IACP recommends all police departments adopt a policy of zero tolerance toward confirmed domestic violence. 1 photograph