Hartford, CT - The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc. (CCADV) Wednesday hailed a recently approved legislative report which calls for the establishment of a model policy to be utilized by all law enforcement when responding to an incident of family violence. Additional measures would require enhanced training for law enforcement and a better system for the collection of arrest data as it relates to incidents of family violence.
The legislature's Task Force on Law Enforcement Response to Family Violence (LERFV) Report and Recommendations was approved by the group this afternoon. The committee was charged with evaluating existing policies and procedures used by law enforcement agencies when responding to incidents of family violence and violations of restraining and protective orders. Additionally, members of the task force will be working through January 2012 to develop a statewide model policy that will provide statutorily mandated minimum standards for all Connecticut law enforcement agencies.
According to Karen Jarmoc, Interim Executive Director for CCADV and co-chair of the LERFV Task Force, the recommendations will provide law enforcement personnel with an improved working knowledge of the intricacies of family violence incidents through enhanced training. "When the Task Force learned that police departments across the state were not all providing the same training to their personnel, we felt that a more consistent approach was needed," said Jarmoc. "Today's report sets important benchmarks for every department to meet when it comes to responding to a domestic violence call."
Each Connecticut police department will also be required to designate an existing employee to serve as a domestic violence liaison to better respond to victims in crisis. The report also speaks to enhanced measures to improve victim safety for those individuals who possess a protective or restraining order against an abusive partner. Due to the shocking prevalence of these orders - last year alone, Connecticut judges issued 33,000 protective orders and 7,500 restraining orders - the report recommends more comprehensive training for judges and prosecutors, improved communication between judges and victim advocates, and the retention of experienced judges and prosecutors on the domestic violence docket for longer periods of time. Additionally, bail bond commissioners may soon be expected to consider the safety of the victim when recommending bail.