Certain states are experiencing unusually long response times to 911 domestic violence reports. Police departments and domestic violence victims express their concern over injuries and fatalities that might have been prevented if police had responded earlier.
In Arizona, a Tucson Police Department sergeant reveals that on his last assignment supervising the domestic violence unit, he noticed that response times were too slow and that detectives were not following up on violation reports. According to records provided by the Tucson Police Officers Association, some response times took over an hour. Although the highest priority calls are getting quick response times, the lower-level priority calls are not getting the expedient responses they deserve. A Tucson City Council member states that order of protection calls should be considered high priority and therefore should be responded to immediately.
However, the department does not have adequate police officers to respond to all calls appropriately. Although they have many applicants, they are challenged with finding those who are qualified for the job, a reflection of a national problem. Competition between the police department and other services, such as the fire department, roads, and parks, have led to struggles with the budget.
Arizona is not the only state experiencing these difficulties. The time it takes police in Flint, Michigan to respond to the most serious 911 calls has more than doubled in six months. Whereas it took police approximately 21 minutes to respond to priority calls in January of this year, by July it took them an average of 58 minutes. The volume of calls is so high that the department runs out of available responding officers. By recognizing this issue in various states, it can help domestic violence victims become aware of the response times in their own towns and take the steps necessary to bring it to the attention of their law enforcement and city council.
Issuing a Protective Order
It is important for domestic violence victims to have protections in place before the next violent incident occurs. In Maryland, the most common form of legal assistance that a domestic violence victim may obtain is a protective order. A protective order may be filed if the victim and the alleged abuser are current or former spouses, have lived together for at least 90 days in the past year, are related by blood, marriage or adoption, are the parents of a child together, are in a caretaker-vulnerable relationship, or have had a sexual relationship within one year before the filing of the petition.
The judge may order the alleged abuser to stop the abuse, stay away from and have no contact with the victim, or leave the home where the victim resides. The judge may also award the victim temporary custody of any children and pets. If the abuser violates the terms of the protective order, the victim should report it to the police immediately.
Towson Domestic Violence Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Advocate for Victims’ Safety
If you are a victim of domestic violence, contact the Towson domestic violence lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. We represent domestic violence victims throughout Maryland, including Towson, Hunt Valley, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Columbia, Westminster, Essex, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. Contact us online or call us at 443-589-0150 for a free, confidential consultation.