In our last post, we began looking at a Seattle Times article discussing how Tacoma's domestic violence policy has come to be a model for various communities in the Unites States and the U.K.
Tacoma's policy has especially come to be respected in the way it deals with domestic violence calls in which the perpetrator of violence is an acting police officer. As we noted last time, such situations often impair a police force's ability to deal effectively with the situation.
As the Seattle Times article noted, a U.K. couple living in Washington at the time of the murder was deeply affected by the incident. John Bishop, a retired officer from Suffolk England and Glenna Trout, a former lieutenant with Bellevue police department, are now taking the lessons learned from the incident back to the United Kingdom.
Trout has been involved in domestic violence prevention work for 30 years and co-founded the Eastside Domestic Violence Program and SOC program in Bellevue, which is a community domestic violence response program. The program has been quite successful, having won international awards for crime-preventions and having been used as a template for other communities in the United States and Europe.
After following the developments of the 2003 murder, Bishop and Trout eventually got in contact with the victim's father, and began working with him on how to improve police response to domestic violence in their own community.
Bishop and Trout are now living in England, working with the Against Violence and Abuse project as well as the U.K. government, and are attempting to utilize the lessons of the 2003 murder and Tacoma's policy to improve police response to domestic violence incidents.
One of the primary issues the couple has focused on is how to protect a domestic violence victim when the perpetrator is a serving police officer. Another area of focus is to learn from Washington's policies and procedures concerning primary responders and supervisors.
According to the couple, police officers have a tendency to "protect their own" which can be a problem from the standpoint of keeping victim's safe. Policies dealing with such situations, they say, help make the police force transparent and accountable.
Source: Seattle Times, "After Brame case, Tacoma a leader against domestic violence," Susan Schell," 9 Mar 2011.
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