Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse
Domestic violence and substance abuse among law enforcement is double that of the general population, these issues affect officers work performance. This report examines the factors plaguing officers and the treatment options available. 2012
Hundreds of women are beaten each year by unlikely batterer-police officers. There are only a few departments in the United States that have a policy in affect that deal with the domestic violence issue and too few will prosecute a police officer It is hard to think an officer would hurt one of their own, but the fact of the matter is domestic violence by police officers is two to four more common than the general population. The cases are handled informally and are not reported at all, city attorneys are hesitant to bring the cases to court, making the victim feel powerless. A woman in Tacoma, Washington was killed by her husband who was the chief of police there. Only 45% of police departments have a policy involving domestic violence, the most officers would receive is counseling. The problems for the victims are their batterers can inflict pain without leaving marks or bruises, they are trained in intimidate, force, interrogation weapons and are equipped with surveillance tools to “stalk” their victim. Police officers will make them believe they have the power to kill them and get away with it because “police don’t lie”. Along with this is a high risk of homicide/suicide among couples. The IACP drafted policy in July 2003 that prohibits officers convicted a qualifying misdemeanor domestic violence from possessing firearms or those found guilty through criminal proceedings shall be terminated. Victims need to find DV advocates that work outside of law enforcement so the risk of retaliation is lessened. The loss of career seems to be the greatest deterrent for an officer who thinks of harming his spouse....