State Police Adding Domestic Violence Coordinators
To better support victims of domestic violence, the Maryland State Police is assigning domestic violence investigation coordinators at each installation throughout the state.
Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown has directed each of the 22 barrack commanders to assign a specially trained criminal supervisor to be a domestic violence investigation coordinator. The coordinator will review each incident reported at the barrack that involves or maybe related to domestic violence. The domestic violence coordinator will conduct follow up interviews with each victim. During the interview, the coordinator can offer assistance in obtaining a peace or protective order. In addition, the coordinator will put the victim in contact with a counselor and together, they can develop a plan of action to prevent any further abuse.
“By assigning domestic violence coordinators at each barrack, troopers can better serve victims living in these horrible situations,” Colonel Brown, said. “The coordinators will ensure all available resources are utilized to protect the rights and safety of the victims and their families. The Maryland State Police is committed to make certain that each domestic violence investigation is conducted in a thorough and professional manner, yielding the best chance to end the cycle of violence and successfully prosecute the abuser.”
Domestic violence coordinators have received specialized training pertaining to domestic violence investigations. Each coordinator will have contact with resources in their barrack areas to assist victims dealing with the aftermath of abuse. Each trooper has received entry level training in domestic violence focused on helping the victim and their families during the initial act. A responding trooper will be able to conduct domestic violence lethality screening, seize any weapons as policy allows, take photographs, conduct initial interviews of victims and witnesses, and provide contact information for the domestic violence coordinator on call. Responding troopers will also provide contact information for a victim’s advocate and encourage the victim to call for assistance.
Those experiencing physical or sexual abuse, or those who know someone who may be a victim, are urged to contact the state police or their local police department. There are also a variety of service agencies available to assist those who do not want to talk with police. For statewide assistance, victims contact the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence at www.mnadv.org or by phone at 1-800-MD-HELP (1-800-634-3577).
These efforts are in concert with the Service Training Officers Prosecutors (S*T*O*P) and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which are programs administered by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.