Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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October 28, 2013

Raising domestic violence awareness


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

LAROSE: Separate the parties.

LEFFLER: I feel like I still hear the same addresses on the scanner a lot. I mean, doesn’t that still happen to a degree?

LAROSE: We would hope not.

EGGERT: Well to a certain extent it probably does because like Jim was saying about the harassments, you can’t make an arrest. You can’t force anybody to leave their house. There are times when we do have to walk away. But there’s a very small amount of those because if there’s anything but a harassment, generallly, somebody’s going to go to jail.

VOUTOUR: The big difference is today, though, Scott, is those houses that we have to walk away from, we now at least, we hope that our officers document it. A domestic report. Even though they may not want a report, we still have a requirement to write it.

LEFFLER: Susan, you mentioned that more men are reporting. Is that a stigma that’s breaking down? Is that what that is?

LAROSE: That’s a tough one because sometimes they beat the other one to the phone. … Statistically, across the country, 95 percent of victims are female. Five percent are male. The county’s more 80/20. That’s because we take into consideration not only husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend. But we’re talking father/son. Those relationships. Which there ends up being more males in that population. But we take male reporters just as seriously as female callers because oftentimes it takes a lot of courage for them to report that they’re being physically harassed or emotionally harassed by a girlfriend or a partner. We take each and every call just as serious as the other.

LEFFLER: Now, you said that sometimes one beats the other to the phone … how …

LAROSE: It’s primary. Trying to determine who’s the primary physical aggressor in a situation … is one of the most frustrating parts, I think for a police officer. And they’ve been trained in the law enforcement academy. They all get 14 hours of training. … And four of it includes role play. Actual role play. In determining the primary physical aggressor, sometimes your going in and there’s equal injury. The situation is discombobulated. You can’t figure out who started what. The stories are conflicting. It’s the police officers’ duty to do some good interviewing and find out if there’s history involved. Who made that defensive wound. Who has worse injuries. And we don’t like to do dual arrests. Unless it’s absolutely necessary.

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