Combating Officer Involved Domestic Violence
April 29, 2012
Police work is hard work, no question.
But all too often, the stress of the job can spill over into a police officer’s personal life. And that can lead to domestic violence.
“There are many victims who are partners of officers that don’t feel like they can come forward and get the help that the need or assistance to get out of the abusive relationship,” said Ilene Burke, executive director of the St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House.
That’s why a training session last week was so important.
Nearly 40 police officers from across St. Lawrence County gathered in Canton for training on officer involved domestic violence – the first ever in the community.
Among the speakers were a survivor of officer involved domestic violence and the coordinator for criminal justice training with the state office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.
“What we’re trying to do is train police officers to respond properly to police officer involved domestic violence, whether that officer is the victim or perhaps the alleged offender,” said Alan Mulkin, a police chief and Renewal House member.
The training, part of national Crime Victims’ Rights Week, was designed to give police officers the tools they need to protect victims and to seek the help they need through agencies like the St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House.
“If the officer’s a victim, they need to know where they can go for help, that their job’s not in jeopardy because they happen to be a victim of domestic violence,” Mulkin said.
“If the victim is the significant other to a police officer, you know, they’ve got to know where they can go,” he added.
Thanks to this training, these officers are better armed to fight domestic violence in the law enforcement community.