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Rising to the Challenge: Preventing Police Officer Domestic Violence

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 67 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2000 Pages: 43,45,47,50-51,53-55
Sandy Prabhu; Nancy Turner
Date Published
November 2000
8 pages
This analysis of police agency policies regarding domestic assault involving police personnel argues that a general domestic violence policy that does not specifically address police officers as abusers is inadequate and that a comprehensive policy can enable police agencies actively to prevent and address domestic violence in the ranks.
Studies support the estimate that domestic violence committed by police officers against their intimate partners occurs at the same rate as in the general population at the least. The Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office asked the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in 1997 to study the issue. The IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center released a Model Policy on Police Officer Domestic Violence in April 1999. Police agencies need to consider the issues of community trust, leadership, liability, and dangerousness when they contemplate the reasons for establishing a detailed policy on police-involved domestic violence. A comprehensive policy should begin with a zero-tolerance attitude, include community collaboration and victim safety, and conclude with simultaneous administrative and criminal investigations in the event of a reported incident. Making prevention and victim safety a priority will demonstrate community policing at its best. See website www.theiacp.org to obtain the model policy, and reference notes.