California Governor Jerry Brown signed a handful of bills this week including new legislation that increases transparency within local jurisdictions in California. In addition to the two new laws we wrote about earlier this week SB-978 was signed, which requires law enforcement agencies to publish their “training, policies, practices, and operating procedures.”
New Jersey State Police releases policies regarding officer domestic violence, but no details on enforcement
Out of 50 state police departments whose domestic violence response policies were requested, only the New Jersey State Police released their policy pertaining to domestic violence incidents involving police officers. However, after nearly a year of waiting, the NJSP have still yet to release docs detailing how many officers have been accused, what they’ve been accused of, and whether or not they are still employed.
States have different policies on how they approach domestic violence - and many don’t have any policies at all
A request for domestic violence response policies for state police departments in all 50 states found 28 states willing to release the policies free of charge, or for a small fee. Twelve states reported having no such policy. Four - Hawaii, Kansas, New Hampshire, and South Dakota - rejected the request, arguing that granting it would compromise security, reveal confidential law enforcement techniques, or disrupt the operation of government.
The care rape victims receive is entirely dependent on where the crime occurred. Good sexual assault response policies are comprised of a number of initiatives, including (but not limited to) specific officer training, a victim-centered approach, access to victim advocates, guidelines for submitting kits to labs, and victim notification. Based on what we’ve seen in our reporting so far, we’ve rounded up a list of the five best - and the five worst - sexual assault response policies across the country.
Our request for data and policies regarding the collection, maintenance, and testing of backlogged rape kits in Dallas shows that, as of May 2017, more than 1,000 kits still have not been submitted to crime labs. Of those submitted, only 50% have been tested, and just 35% of those tested have been uploaded into CODIS.