Tracking the number of police officers accused of domestic violence is vital to public safety, particularly for women, as these public servants are tasked with responding to calls from victims of domestic violence, and victims have a right to be secure in the knowledge that the people they count on to protect them in a time of crisis don’t possess an inordinate amount of sympathy for their batterers.
To that end, we’ve launched a project that will hopefully shed more light on the subject, and with the help of our readers, have crowdsourced a number of police departments from which we’ve requested information on officer-involved domestic violence incidents.
According to a 2016 study by Hofstra University, officer-involved domestic violence is a major issue with unique and horrifying issues surrounding it, and the information that is available about it is often incomplete due to the victims of police officers being even less likely to come forward than average victims of domestic violence.
According to the study, 40 percent of families of police officers are victims of domestic violence, compared to 25 percent of the general population. The study goes on to say that many women are hesitant to report abuse due to fear of retaliation and that women who report abuse must contend with police departments that are dismissive of their accusations or conduct shoddy investigations.
Police officers who abuse their families are more likely to own guns than the average citizen and can count not only on the protection of their co-workers but on communities that often mindlessly lionize police officers, reinforcing to their victims that if they want to press charges they’re facing an uphill battle through a firing squad.
As responses to these requests have trickled in, the cost of fulfilling them is proving daunting, and we won’t be able to afford the release of these records without some help.
The Dallas Police Department is charging $344.11 for the release of these records, Collier County Florida wants $257.85, and Plano, Texas is demanding a whooping $508. There’s no way I can afford to pay these fees on my own, so I’m reaching out to you, dear readers, in the hopes that you believe the release of this information is as vital as I do. Every little bit helps, so even if you can only swing $5, it’d be greatly appreciated and push us closer to our goal of making this information public.
Even if you can’t contribute, you can still help by adding to the form below.
Image via Joint Base Langley-Eustis