Always Investigate and Enforce Domestic Violence Laws
Category: Law Enforcement
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s tip is for law enforcement officers and it deals with equal enforcement of domestic violence laws.
Public safety employees are subject to the same laws as everyone else–regardless of position, rank, or title.
Your state probably has laws about domestic violence. The law probably tells you when you must take a report and when you must make an arrest. These laws remove officer discretion from the equation. When probable cause exists to believe a person committed a D-V offense, you don’t get to choose whether to make an arrest.
So how should we handle a domestic violence investigation that involves a firefighter, a corrections officer, or a cop? The short answer is—exactly the same way. Now it might make sense to notify your supervisor. But if the situation requires a report, take a report. And if the facts support an arrest, make an arrest. It doesn’t matter if the suspect is a truck driver, an engineer, a school teacher, or a police officer.
It’s required by law and it’s the right thing to do.
Imagine if you don’t do what you are supposed to do and the victim is later murdered. Everyone will be asking why you didn’t take the report or why you didn’t make the arrest. And everyone will be wondering whether the tragedy could have been prevented. If you would have just followed the rules…
And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.