Police Implement Home Visiting Program
Eleven police departments in New York State have received grants aimed to enhance their response to domestic violence. The $25,000 one-time grants were awarded by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and are to be used to allow police officers to conduct follow up home visits to homes where they have responded to domestic incident calls. DCJS chose the participating jurisdictions based on analysis of domestic violence crime statistics.
The program, modeled after a similar initiative in New York City, will consist of officers returning to select homes sometime after a domestic incident call to follow up on that case. Officers will use these visits to enhance the criminal investigation and to ensure that the victims have the information they need to seek help and access services. For example, officers will have an opportunity to collect evidence that wasn’t collected during the original call and arrest the offender if they are at the home in violation of an order of protection. They will also be able to speak more with the victim and help get her connected to local domestic violence service providers, should she request such assistance.
As part of the grant, officers have been trained by OPDV and they are developing written policies, which will ultimately be available as models for other departments. OPDV and DCJS are providing technical assistance to departments and are encouraging them to collaborate with others in their community, including domestic violence advocates and district attorneys’ offices.
DCJS hopes that this program spreads across New York State in an effort to enhance offender accountability and victim safety. For more information on this program, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.