Domestic Calls are one of the more dangerous calls to be dispatched to. This is one call, behind traffic stops, where officers get hurt/killed the most.The most common place to get dispatched for a domestic trouble is a personal residence. What makes this so dangerous is that you are about to enter a persons house whom you have never met. You do not know what the parties involved are capable of. You do not know what kind of weapons are inside the residence. You do not know how many other people are in the house. Every house that an officer gets dispatched to has weapons, for example, every house has kitchen knives, baseball bats, chairs and other projectiles. You are entering into a volatile situation from the very start. After a few years of service officers tend to get “lax” in their approach to certain offenders/situations. Though an officer should not fall victim to lackadaisical behavior, he/she should never take that approach on a domestic battery call. Many people are still under the impression that a complaint needs to be signed by the victim in order for an offender to be taken into custody for domestic battery. In Illinois and I’m sure most of the U.S, a person must be taken into custody for domestic battery if: 1) The officer witnesses an attack on a person to whom which the offender is (A) living with, (B) has kids with, (C) blood related to or (D) married, engaged, boyfriend or girlfriend, with the victim. 2) The officer, once on scene, see’s visible signs of injury to the victim that is “fresh”. 3) If the victim provides a reasonable and truthful explanation of the facts surrounding the incident and wishes to sign a complaint against the offender. If none of those above exist, and the officer can not make a “good” arrest, then both parties must, at the very least be separated for the night. The officer must convince one of the two parties involved to leave the residence and let things cool down. Both parties should be given domestic violence pamphlets and numbers they can call in case the problem persists. An officer and his/her department will get sued if a domestic battery complaint is not investigated fully and some kind of preventative action was not taken. The last thing you want to do is leave the residence with both parties still there and then find out a few hours later that one of them is either beat to near death or dead. With domestic battery complaints the “good faith” doctrine will more than likely cover you if you make a “not so good” arrest on DB. The arrest can not be grossly negligent, but the officer can use a little more discretion on justifying on safety concerns. This would be a very generic DB report that I would write.
In summary on above date at approximately 2340 hours R/O was assigned to 17 Dist. response vehicle. R/O at that time was notified via radio by central dispatch of a 911 call at the location of 123 maple street. R/O was also informed by central dispatch that this 911 call may be domestic related. Upon arrival R/O observed a male white, know known as, Doe,Johnny, screaming and yelling at a female white,know known as, Doe, Jane, in the front lawn of the above location. Upon exit R/O separated both parties involved for field interviews. R/O was told by Mr. Johnny that he had came home from work and discovered that dinner was not made for him. He then stated that he became upset at his wife Mrs. Jane for not having the dinner ready for him. He stated at no time was there any physical contact between the two parties and that it was just verbal in nature. R/O then spoke with Mrs. Jane who stated that her husband Mr. Johnny came home in an agitated state and began to throw dishes on the floor and began to punch the walls, while yelling at her and stating ” Why isn’t the damn dinner ready”. Mrs. Jane also stated at no point did the altercation become physical. At that time R/O was allowed to enter the above residence, where R/O had observed the kitchen area littered with broken dishes on the floor as well as several holes in the east wall of the kitchen. R/O did not observe any visible signs of injury on either party involved. Neither party wished to sign complaints. R/O at that time for safety reasons asked both parties if one of them were willing to spend the night elsewhere and not return until the situation had calmed. Mr. Johnny immediately stated that he would leave the house and spend the night at a hotel. Both parties involved, were given a domestic violence packet as well as contact numbers for further assistance. R/O waited on scene for Mr. Johnny to leave, which he did at approximately 0015 hours. Both parties were clear LEADS/NCIC. End of Report.
It is important to note that this could have easily have turned into an arrest. And no, you can not arrest Mr.Johnny for Criminal Damage To Property!! He has the legal right to do what ever he wants to his own property. If both parties stated that the situation never turned physical, but the R/O observed signs of “fresh” injury on the victim, then the R/O at that point can make a Domestic Battery arrest and have the complainant be the State of Illinois. If there are signs of injury always make sure to call Fire /Rescue to the scene, even if the victim refuses medical attention. Note that i stated in the report that I “asked” one of the parties to leave the premises, and i didn’t say “ordered or told”. You can ont make someone leave his own house unless you are placing him/her into custody. But i would suggest that the R/O does anything in his power to coerce one of the parties to leave on there own. You don’t have to write how you made him/her leave. This probably isn’t the best example t and I will try to add a better one in the future.