Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

Criminal Justice

Overview of the Issue

Responding to Domestic Incident Calls

As a police officer, your role in responding to a domestic incident call is THE SAME AS RESPONDING TO ANY OTHER CRIME SCENE. You must:

As the typical first responders to calls involving domestic incidents, police are called upon to carry out two primary functions on the scene:

While offender accountability is your number one objective, police intervention involves taking responsibility for the safety of everyone involved in a domestic incident by securing and controlling the scene, providing detailed documentation and evidence collection, responding swiftly and appropriately, and establishing follow-up services/referrals for everyone on the scene.

Officers know that allegations of domestic violence must be considered extremely serious. All domestic incident calls, even those that involve known victims and repeat offenders, can involve elements of danger, unpredictability, and complex fact patterns. The nature of these calls highlights the importance of providing officers with comprehensive training, policies, and procedures.