Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law
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Tennessee detectives focus on domestic violence suspects

Police officers in Tennessee have formulated a program to help round up domestic violence suspects. Two Nashville Metro detectives decided to tackle the overwhelming numbers of domestic violence complaints aggressively -- by rotating duties each week, detectives can dedicate two days a week solely to picking up domestic violence suspects.

The head of the domestic violence unit appreciates the aggressive approach, claiming that it is a win-win approach, as her force can handle traumatized victims and pursue suspects.

The unit deals with more then 12,000 complaints of domestic violence each year, but only has a little more than a dozen detectives. The caseload is staggering, and not enough resources can be devoted to performing traffic stops. Time was scarce to execute a warrant, and detectives were constantly on the run.

With so much pressure and approximately 300 open warrants at any given time during the week, there was a growing need for a few detectives to devote their time to executing certain warrants. The detectives' brainchild program makes it possible for them to pick up the top suspects on a list, usually the most dangerous ones who either have a history of domestic violence or are wanted on felonies.

So far, the detectives have been successful -- of the 260 warrants they have attempted to serve, they have picked up more than 160 suspects. Usually, they would not have been picked up if they hadn't been arrested for a traffic violation.

The head of The Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence lauded the program, stating it was helping keep victims safer by taking offenders off the street. According to a former detective who helped create the domestic violence unit, the initiative encourages more victims to come forward by showing them that that their complaints are taken seriously and something is being done for them.

Source: The Tennessean, "Metro Police get more aggressive in arresting domestic violence suspects," Brian Haas, April 12, 2012

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