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NCJ Number: 227859 Find in a Library
Title: Toward a Balanced Approach: Defining Police Roles in Responding to Domestic Violence
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2008  Pages:19-31
Author(s): John Balenovich; Elizabeth Grossi; Thomas Hughes
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using focus group interviews with detectives assigned to a domestic violence unit, this study examined how police officers defined their role in responding to domestic violence incidents.
Abstract: The research found that officers exhibited specific role perspectives defined by the tactics they used in attempting to resolve domestic violence situations. Most officers tended to develop either the role of a strict enforcer of the law or a service-oriented social role that would avoid criminal justice processing of the case. The study also identified a third type of role orientation evident in some officers' approach to domestic violence incidents. These officers, called "integrated investigators," find balance in the conflicting roles of law enforcement and social service. These officers consider that they have an array of options they can use in dealing with a domestic violence incident depending on their analysis of the case. Officers who appreciate both the social service and the criminal justice aspects of a domestic violence incident are better able to make decisions appropriate to the characteristics of the incident. In cultivating "integrated officers" for responding to domestic violence incidents, both academy and inservice training should be modified to ensure that role conflict and ambiguity is examined so that officers can be flexible in deciding upon what action is appropriate in a given case. Training should focus on the benefits of an integrated approach. In addition to appropriate training, police managers must emphasize and reward an integrated approach. Future research should assess the effectiveness of integrated officers relative to strict enforcers and service providers. This research should measure the effectiveness of officers in resolving domestic violence incidents of various types in relation to the tactics used. 62 references
Main Term(s): Police domestic violence training
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Police discretion; Police specialized training
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