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:
- Conduct an Investigation
- Gather Evidence
- Establish Probable Cause
- Enforce the Law
As the typical first responders to calls involving domestic incidents, police are called upon to carry out two primary functions on the scene:
- enhance the safety of those who have been abused, and
- hold offenders accountable for their abusive behavior
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.