Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence: Finding Safety and Support

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The Police

This section will tell you what to expect when the police are involved. Police officer response may vary slightly from one community to another, but police in New York State are trained to respond to domestic calls or incidents as the very serious matters that they are.

Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.

Depending upon the particular incident, the police should:

Note: Details on the police response and the DIR can be found in "What Should You Expect When the Police Respond?" and "What is the Domestic Incident Report (DIR)?"

What Should You Expect When You Call 911?

What Should You Expect When the Police Respond?

Whether you called the police or the call was made by your child, a family member, a neighbor or a concerned friend, a police officer must respond. The officer should:

What if You Are Not Satisfied With the Police Response?

You should be treated with dignity and respect by everyone, including the police. If the police do not respond the way you think they are required to, you may want to talk to an advocate at a domestic violence program about your concerns and possible options.

You can also contact the officer’s supervisor. Provide the name and badge number of the officer(s) that responded to the incident (Note: this information, as well as the Incident # and Complaint #, will all be located on the DIR). If you do speak to anyone about the officer’s handling of your case, document everything, including: all calls to the police, their response, and any follow-up contact with supervisors. You may need this information if further action is necessary.