Chatham County Police using new protocol to assist victims of domestic violence

Chatham County Police using new protocol to assist victims of domestic violence

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - October is national Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic violence affects millions of women and men across the country.

The Chatham County Police Department is using new protocols meant to help domestic violence victims.

The new protocol in suspected cases of domestic violence requires officers to ask a series of questions - a kind of checklist - that with certain responses could get police and other advocacy agencies intervening on the spot.

“Patrol officers, they get to those scenes. It can be a little...hairy. if you will; a lot of emotion, a lot of things going on," said CCPD Chief, Jeff Hadley. "So, we want to make sure that as the officers are evaluating those set of circumstances, that they’re asking the right questions, and they can assess that based on those answers.”

The officer talks to the potential victim one on one, answering a variety of questions.

Some ask what kind of access the suspected abuser has to guns, and if they are violently jealous and controlling.

Chief Hadley said this sort of evaluation will become his department’s new norm, and one that’s part of a growing national trend among other departments battling domestic violence in their communities.

“Our aggravated assault domestic categories are our biggest jump in violent crime, and probably accounts for about 75-percent of our increase in violent crime, is attributed to aggravated assault-domestic," Chief Hadley pointed out.

Chief Hadley says using the question checklist will become part of their normal practice in the very near future.

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