EXTENDED REFERENCE MATERIAL

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In January 2007, the Community Oriented Police Services Office in the US Department of Justice published a Problem Oriented Policing Guide on Domestic Violence. The Guide reviewed risk factors, identified questions that help law enforcement officials to analyze local problems, and reviewed common responses to domestic violence. A copy of the report can be found here. Additional information can be found in the IACP’s Issues and Concepts Paper on Domestic Violence published in 1997 and updated in 2006, which can be found here.

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The IACP’s National Law Enforcement Policy Center issued a Model Policy for Domestic Violence in June 2006. Suggested points of information that the communications center should attempt to obtain on a domestic violence call are listed on pages 4 and 5. A copy of the Model Policy can be found here.

Suggested practices for approaching the incident location can be found on page 6. A copy of the Model Policy can be found here.

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According to an IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center Concepts and Issues Paper on Domestic Violence, ‘During a domestic violence investigation, officers should cross screen for sexual assault, strangulation, and, where appropriate, child, elder, and animal abuse. . . .In a national survey of more than 6,000 families, researchers found that half the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently assaulted their children. . . .In a national survey of battered women’s shelters, 83.3 percent of victims surveyed responded that they had observed the coexistence of domestic violence and animal abuse.’ Additional information can be found here (see pages 1-3).

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According to an article by Gerald Garner in Police Magazine (“Fatal Errors: Surviving Domestic Violence Calls,” January 2005), ‘Your lookout for potential weapons should include makeshift weapons, too. As deadly as they can be, guns and knives are not the only objects that can be used to kill you. One unfortunate officer was beaten to death with a clothes iron. Another was clubbed fatally with a piece of firewood. A third died after his skull was fractured with a portable oxygen tank. Staying safe on a domestic violence call requires that you remain alert for anything that might be turned against you.’ To read the article, go here.

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According to an article by Dr. Shannon Meyer and Chief (Retired) Randall H. Carroll in Police Chief Magazine (“When Officers Die: Understanding Deadly Domestic Violence Calls for Service,” May 2011), the domestic violence incidents in which an officer is killed after the first contact with the suspects break down into three categories: 1) the situation escalates almost immediately, 2) the suspect has a weapon when the officer comes on the scene, and 3) there is a physical struggle between the officer and the suspect. To read the article, go here.

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Officers can gain a tactical edge by the way they carry and conduct themselves. Non-verbal cues can project authority and professionalism and make a potential offender less inclined to assault an officer. According to an article by Anthony Pinizzotto and Edward F. Davis in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (“Offenders Perceptual Shorthand: What Messages are Law Enforcement Officers Sending to Offenders?,” June 1999), “[Studies] in social psychology have indicated that the way humans carry themselves—including how they walk, speak, gesture, move and look—communicates various messages. . . .In many cases of [officer assaults or killings] examined, the offenders could not articulate the exact cues they perceived regarding the targeted officer’s appearance, gait, or behavior. However, killers and assaulters alike stated that if their victims generally gave the impression that they appeared authoritative (not authoritarian), seemed resolute, or acted professionally, then the offenders were reluctant to initiate an assault.” To read the article, go here.

For some ideas on communication techniques for de-escalating emerging situations, see this article by Christa Miller on Officer.com (“The Art of Verbal Judo: How Tactical Communication Reduces Need to Escalate Use of Force,” August 1, 2008).

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The LAPD defines the three phases of the Domestic Violence Cycle as:

  • The Tension Building Phase: The batterer begins to assert his or her power over the victim in an attempt to control the victim’s actions.
  • The Acute Battering Incident: During this phase, the batterer exhibits uncontrolled violence outbursts.
  • The Remorseful Phase: During this last phase of the cycle of violence, the batterer usually begins an intense effort to win forgiveness and ensure that the relationship will not break up.

To read more, including a link to access a chart on ways in which batterers attempt to gain power and control over their victims, go here.

To read a public information flyer from the State of Delaware that summarizes the Domestic Violence Cycle, go here.

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The IACP’s “Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence: A Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Enforcing Orders of Protection Nationwide” lists a number of strategies for immediate actions to be taken when responding officers arrive at the scene of a domestic violence call. To view the Guide, go here, and scroll to page 9 to read the strategies. Remember to follow your department’s policies.

The COPS report on Domestic Violence by Rana Sampson lists a number of questions that can be used to analyze the domestic violence problem that exists in a community. The questions are grouped in the following categories: the victims, the offenders, the locations and times, and the current responses. To view the report, go here, and scroll to pages 16-20 to read the questions.

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The IACP’s “Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence: A Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Enforcing Orders of Protection Nationwide” discusses the Violence Against Women Act and orders of protection. To view the Guide, go here, and scroll to pages 2 through 7 to see the discussion. Remember to follow local laws and your department’s policies.

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Watch a video in which Detective Jacqui Smith of the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia and an unidentified victim discuss the Department’s outreach efforts to domestic violence victims.

The COPS report on Domestic Violence by Rana Sampson provides a matrix that catalogues domestic violence responses in terms of the focus area, timing, goals, police roles, and supporting agency roles. To view the report, go here, and scroll to page 25 to read the matrix.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline connects victims with supporting activities.

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Best practices suggest that law enforcement agencies take ongoing steps after an incident is over and the response is completed. For more information, see the COPS report on Domestic Violence by Rana Sampson here and scroll to the last matrix entry on the bottom of page 25. For more information see the IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center Concepts and Issues Paper on Domestic Violence here and scroll down to page 6; or go to the IACP’s Model Policy for Domestic Violence and scroll to the bottom of page 10.

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For more information on general risk factors for domestic violence, see the COPS report on Domestic Violence by Rana Sampson here and scroll to pages 10-14.

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For a detailed listing of risk indicators, see the IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center Concepts and Issues Paper on Domestic Violence here and scroll down to pages 5 and 6. A shorter checklist of indicators of lethality is available here in the IACP’s Guide on enforcing orders of protection on page 9.

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The IACP’s National Law Enforcement Policy Center’s Issues and Concepts Paper on Domestic Violence identified several emotions officers may observe in victims:

Passivity—quiet and reserved; reluctant to answer questions about abuse
Denial—refuse to acknowledge abusive incident occurred; minimize level of abuse or recant their account; deny allegations and do not want investigation to continue; defend perpetrator and verbally or physically attack officers
Anger—angry because prior reports of abuse did not lead to an arrest; say the police do not provide sufficient protection from their abuser (even if arrest is made)
Fear—afraid of retaliation from abuser for police responding; afraid officers will not take action to stop violence; afraid officers will believe abuser and not them; afraid authorities will take their children as abuser has threatened

To read the paper, go here.

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This report by Russ Ptacek of KSHB-TV, the NBC affiliate in Kansas City, describes the dangers of geo-coded photos and how to remove this data from photos. The IACP’s National Law Enforcement Policy Center’s Issues and Concepts Paper on Domestic Violence provides a detailed analysis of assessing and documenting injuries. To read the paper, go here and read pages 2-3.

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Domestic Violence Is a Cycle You Can Help Break” by Sheriff Rob Nou of San Juan County Washington was published by SanJuanJournal.com in October 2011. It provides a short and effective primer to the problem of domestic violence and law enforcement’s role in helping to break the cycle.

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The NYPD’s Report, Active Shooter Recommendations and Analysis studied 321 cases from 1966 to 2012 that involved an active shooter or a foiled plot. While the perpetrator carried multiple weapons in 36% of incidents over the 35 year period studied, it is noteworthy that in the last five years considered (2006-2010), that percentage increased to 44%, indicating an increasing likelihood that offenders will use multiple weapons in these incidents. The Report can be found here. A discussion of the weapons used is on page 8 and the complete data set is presented in the Appendix.

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Click here to view a summary of an ongoing collaborative study by the Centers for Disease Control and the Departments of Education and Justice on violent deaths that occur at schools. The Major findings of the study are listed on the page.

The NYPD’s Report, Active Shooter Recommendations and Analysis studied 321 cases from 1966 to 2012 that involved an active shooter or a foiled plot. The perpetrator had a familial relationship with at least one of the victims in only 6% of the incidents considered. The relationship was either academic or professional in 60% of the incidents, and in 26% of the incidents no relationship existed. The Report can be found here. A discussion of these relationships can be found on pages 5 and 6.

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The NYPD’s Report, Active Shooter Recommendations and Analysis studied 321 cases from 1966 to 2012 that involved an active shooter or a foiled plot. The Report can be found here. A discussion of perpetrator characteristics can be found on pages 4 and 5.

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See this FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin by Dr. Michael Buerger and Dr. Geoffrey Buerger (“Those Terrible First Few Minutes: Revisiting Active-Shooter Protocols for Schools”, September 2010) that discusses the first few moments of an active shooter incident in a school. The authors point out that the people in the school, not law enforcement will be the first to respond. They also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of several policy perspectives, including lockdowns and evacuations, and encourage planning and preparation for multiple scenarios.

This video produced by the City of Houston and the Department of Homeland Security (“Run, Hide, Fight”) illustrates guidelines to citizens for surviving an active shooter scenario. For more information on this topic see The Department of Homeland Security’s pamphlet “Active Shooter How to Respond”, October 2008.

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The Department of Homeland Security’s pamphlet “Active Shooter How to Respond” (October 2008) provides guidance to individuals, including managers and employees, caught in an active shooter situation, and discusses how to react when law enforcement responds.

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The United States Military Academy’s Center for Enhanced Performance educates and trains West Point cadets on “specific strategies and intangible skills that underlie elite human performance.” To read more about the Center’s program for improving performance through a better understanding of how thoughts and emotions impact physiology, go here.

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At least three overarching factors influence the decision of making a tactical entry versus securing the outer perimeter.: 1) Whether the shooter is still active, 2) Officer safety, and 3) Agency policies and training. Deputy John Williams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department compiled a comprehensive briefing on active shooter response and tactics. Among the issues discussed is making the decision to enter or secure the perimeter. To read the briefing, go here. The discussion on decision making is at slides 8-10.

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WGEM, the NBC affiliate in Quincy, Illinois reported on active shooter training involving multiple agencies. See their report here.

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SGT Todd Hammitt was the incident commander responding to a situation in an elementary school where a janitor shot the school principal. He wrote about his experience in the California Sheriff Magazine (“My Agency is Prepared for an Active Shooter or Are We?”, July 2011). Select the “Click here to download” link and scroll down to page 24.

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The U.S. Army study guide offers a step by step method for bandaging a bleeding wound. This Harvard Medical School guide shows how to apply pressure to stop bleeding.

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In high schools and colleges, shutting off cell phones is desirable but probably impossible to implement. Cell phones provide a way to communicate information to the outside world, but the ring of one alerts an intruder to the presence of people inside a room, elevating the danger. Parents hearing of a situation likely will call their child, increasing the probability that cell phones will be ringing throughout the school and defeating the “hide and hope” approach to lockdown.” Source: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin by Dr. Michael Buerger and Dr. Geoffrey Buerger (“Those Terrible First Few Minutes: Revisiting Active-Shooter Protocols for Schools”, September 2010).

For more on cell phone usage and communications issues, see this presentation by Deputy John Williams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (scroll to slide 47).

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The National Highway Traffic Administration used data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System to analyze the problem of motor vehicle accidents that result in law enforcement officer fatalities. The report, entitled “Characteristics of Law Enforcement Officers’ Fatalities in Motor Vehicle Crashes,” can be found here. A map charting the data by state can be found on page 9 and a chart presenting data on roadway characteristics can be found on page 15.

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This video produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center discusses the shooting and death of Officers Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans during a motor vehicle stop. The perpetrators were members of the Sovereign Citizens, an anti-government group that has been known to fabricate license plates and driver’s licenses according to their belief that the issuing authority in a state is illegitimate. Information on falsified plates and identification can be found by viewing the part of the video from 5:30 to 8:45.

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The IACP’s “Manual of Traffic Services Policies and Procedures” provides a collection of traffic policies for law enforcement agencies. Policy #1.4 on approaching the traffic violator can be found by scrolling down to page 16.

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In this article (Richard J. Ashton, “Could Changing Our Ways Mitigate Officers’ Traffic Deaths?,” Highway Safety Initiatives, The Police Chief 78 (August 2011): 118–122), Richard Ashton, Chief of Police (Retired) in Frederick Maryland discussed several strategies for reducing the number of officer fatalities on the road. These include positioning of the police vehicle, lighting on the vehicle, use of reflective devices on the vehicle, use of reflective safety vests, and mandating seat belt use.

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The IACP’s Highway Safety Desk Book published in 2004 provides guidance for police leaders in promoting highway safety across a broad number of areas and situations. See page 2-25 for a discussion of the purposes of conducting a traffic stop.

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The IACP’s Law Enforcement Stops & Safety Subcommittee 2006 Staff Report provides a collection of studies on improving officer safety during traffic stops. These include study and analysis of move over laws, officer visibility, vehicle emergency warning systems, and vehicle positioning and officer approach. The New York State Police conducted a study of vehicle positioning that was based upon a survey of practices in the field and a computer accident simulation. The purpose was to examine the simulations and compare them to an actual collision reconstruction to examine the computerized model’s safety predictions. The report can be found here. Scroll down to Chapter 4 on page 36 to see the NYSP study.

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The IACP’s Law Enforcement Stops & Safety Subcommittee 2004 Staff Report compiled research and recommendations on the vehicle, the highway environment and design, and policies and procedures. Appendices A and B compile the policies of various state and local agencies on where to conduct a stop, vehicle placement, lighting, officer approach and orientation, officer/motorist interaction, officer paperwork, DUI checks, and two officer units. The report can be found here. Appendices A and B are on pages 32-37.

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The IACP’s Law Enforcement Stops & Safety Subcommittee 2004 Staff Report compiled research and recommendations on the vehicle, the highway environment and design, and policies and procedures. The report was based in part on a comparative analysis of various traffic stop policies and procedures from around the country. The report can be found here. The comparative analysis of traffic stop policies is on pages 24-25.

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The FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed & Assaulted (LEOKA) data compiles and presents statistical data on officer deaths in the U.S. each year. A spreadsheet tabulating the causes and frequencies of accidental deaths for each year from 2001 through 2010 can be found here. Additional information, including a victim profile, can be found here. According to the IACP’s Law Enforcement Stops & Safety Subcommittee 2004 Staff Report, which relied on data from 2002, officers struck by errant vehicles average 500 traffic stops per year (see page 29 and footnote 10 on page 31).

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Officers can gain a tactical edge by the way they carry and conduct themselves. Non-verbal cues can project authority and professionalism and make a potential offender less inclined to assault an officer. According to the IACP’s Highway Safety Desk Book, ““FBI studies of officers killed sometimes include verbal debriefngs of the killers and have shown that officers who are too gullible, too quick to lower their guard simply because a motorist is pleasant or smiles back at them, not quick enough to take control of a situation, or give the appearance that they are not physically and mentally alert, are the ones that killers try to take out.” (page 2-26).

To review the Hand Book, go here.

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The IACP’s Highway Safety Desk Book provides a collection of recommendations for highway traffic safety, including how to interact with the motorist after making a traffic stop. To review the Handbook go here. Effective interaction with the motorist is discussed on pages 2-26 to 2-28. Also see this article by Dr. James Onder, “Tips for Conducting Professional Traffic Stops, Police Chief Magazine, July 1, 2001.

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The IACP’s Highway Safety Desk Book provides a collection of recommendations for highway traffic safety, including how to interact with the motorist after making a traffic stop. According to the Hand Book, “Officers must master the art of achieving a balance between command presence and a courteous, non-confrontational attitude. They must learn to give the driver a chance to explain his or her actions without arguing the merits. They must learn not to give motorists “lectures,” but to allow them instead to “save face.” They must learn not to be overcome with anger or arrogance when a motorist is disrespectful—“contempt of cop” is not a crime, and ego should never prevent an officer from disengaging from an argument rather than getting hung out there to the point where there is no way out but to make an “attitude arrest.”

To review the Handbook go here. Effective interaction with the motorist is discussed on pages 2-26 to 2-28.

Also see this article by Dr. James Onder, “Tips for Conducting Professional Traffic Stops, Police Chief Magazine, July 1, 2001.”

The Chicago Police Department produced a short video demonstrating traffic stop techniques, which includes officer safety tips, an escalation scenario, tips for maintaining control, and advice to motorists for how to behave during a traffic stop.

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The IACP’s Highway Safety Desk Book provides a collection of recommendations for highway traffic safety, including how to interact with the motorist after making a traffic stop. According to the Hand Book, an officer should introduce him or herself and explain the reason for the stop first. “Then, and only then, does the officer ask the motorist for his or her license, registration, and proof of insurance. The minimal risk that a motorist will drive off before the officer has his or her papers in hand is trifling compared to the potential arguments that are saved by giving a proper greeting and self-introduction and giving the reason for the stop. To review the Handbook go here. Remember to follow your agency’s policies and procedures.

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These videos by the Fairfax County Police in Virginia and the Chicago Police Department provide tips for motorists involved in a traffic stop. These can be effective community policing tools to inform the public, help ensure efficient stops, and protect officer safety.

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