Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that occurs between people who are relating, and it is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Domestic violence is abuse that can either be physical, sexual, and emotional or any threat that is likely to affect the other partner. It can occur between couples who are married or between two partners who are dating. There has been growing recognition of the prevalence of domestic violence in the United States for the past years among married couples. This paper explores how the police response to domestic violence in the United States has changed over some years. It explains the usefulness of police response to domestic violence.
The assessment and response to risks of domestic violence is the key element on how police in the United States should respond. Arresting a domestic violence criminal reduces the likelihood of occurrence of such a case in the future. The police are supposed to respond positively to put to an end the continuation of domestic violence. In the United States, police are often called to intervene in cases of domestic violence. Although arrests related to domestic violence have been made, mental health experts feel that the police should not just arrest as a response to domestic violence. Instead, they make suggestions for counseling aimed at preventing further violence from occurring (Smeenk and Malsch, p. 144).
Police response to domestic violence in the United States
In the United States, there has been the need for changes in the way the police respond to cases of domestic violence. These changes have been accepted without opposition in the home office, and the issue of domestic violence was considered a crime. The police in the United States were not serious in their response to crimes committed between couples or intimate partners. This was before circulars on police response to domestic violence were released. These circulars recommended that police should treat domestic violence as any other crime. The association of police chiefs noted that domestic violence should never be considered as though it was not a crime.
This was seconded in a report that was published in 1984. This report recommended that arresting victims of domestic violence seemed to be the only way to deal with cases of domestic violence. According to this report, it was concluded that when domestic violence criminals are arrested, incidences of domestic violence shall be reduced. While some of the researchers seconded this decision, they did not recommend the policy of mandatory arrest. However, they recommended presumptive arrest. This was based on their findings. Findings from different researches have had an impact on the police in implementing policies related to arresting such criminals. Most victims, who were caught in cases of domestic violence, withdrew even before the offenders were charged (Buzawa and Buzawa, p. 15).
This supports the fact that the police were not serious in their response to cases of domestic violence that finally result in prosecution. The police in the United States share a desire to give respond to victims of domestic violence and concern on negative messages that compel witnesses.
This is because domestic violence victims are not often compelled to testify against their offenders. The police officers considered the system that defines criminal justice as a tool to deal with domestic violence. It seemed that there was a rule that the police used for victims to withdraw the case. The choice that was made by the victims has been criticized on several grounds. It allows the victimized individuals to choose the best for them without making a consideration on the impact on non-persecution of perpetrators (Stark and Buzawa, p. 69).
Effect of technology on policing
There is no doubt that technology enhances various aspects of human life. In this sense, it is expected that the incorporation of technology in the policy is meant to facilitate how the police carry out their duties. Technology in the United States has had a considerable impact on the work of police officers in the whole country. Most police urgencies in the United States are major users of technology. The issue of the police departments adopting technology in the United States is not an old phenomenon. The adoption of technology in these police departments has caused changes in organizational practices. It has also led to a reduction in crime cases.
This is especially on the property and violent crime in the country hence increased crime clearance rates. The use of technology also implies higher educated and skilled police officers in the future thereby raising the quality of police staff. The use of technology has improved the organization such that the police department can measure the crime-fighting progress of the officers in charge. Several technologies are used in use today to improve police work (Plant, p. 148).
Mobile data terminals and the global positioning system for tracking have been introduced to improve police work and reduce crimes. The mobile data terminals have improved the means of communication in case of a crime has been committed in a certain place. They are usually equipped in police cars. Normally, this sophisticated computer technology is synchronized into the car system to be used by the police. This helps the officer to know about the car and the person operating it. This machine comes with a global positioning system (GPS) which is also beneficial to the police. First, it is used to locate the position on a map such that the officer can know where he is. There is also an emergency button installed in the mobile data terminal. If it is pressed in case of trouble, the dispatchers send immediate backup.
Again, technology in policing has enhanced the dissemination of information at the right time. The police officers can receive any updates concerning a recent crime even when they are out on patrol. Again, with this same system photos of suspected criminals can be delivered to enhance apprehension. In addition, the use of improved cell phones as technological devices alerts the police officers about any crime occurrence.
Apart from the positive effects of technology, the introduction of technology is currently outpacing the training of police. Usually, the police undergo training, and they are retained as they have the necessary skills about emerging technologies. The large police departments in the United States are forced to hire civilians to cater for maintenance of the technological aspects. In a general sense, technology in the United States has had great benefits to the police departments and the people affected by crimes (Manning, p. 267).
How technology can improve policing in the future
For technology to improve policing in the future, the police should make use of predictive policing. This is likely to change the implementation of legislations by making it possible for the police to predict and stop criminal activities before they occur. This is advantageous to the policing work because it saves time for the police to respond to crimes. Other ways in which technology can improve policing in the future is through intelligent gathering of data that concern the police work; introduction of processes that assist in solution of problems that occur within the police departments.
Again, good organization strategies in the police departments will also help technology improve policing in future. Again, the police departments should educate the personnel and leaders. The officers should be able to make use of the technology effectively. In addition, there should be a transition to common technical platforms. The gaps that have been noticed in jurisdictions should be overcome, and the police department should be connected with other law enforcement urgency. All this will help improve police work in United States (Ross, p. 275).
From the discussion on police response to domestic violence, it can be concluded that police officers in the United States were previously not serious with their response to domestic violence. As time passed, concern and interest has been shown to the offended that has helped to harmonize. Again, on technology, this has had positively affected the police work hence reducing crime rates in the United States. Technology should improve on certain areas as mentioned above in order to improve policing in the future.
Buzawa, Eve S. and Carl G. Buzawa. Responding to Domestic Violence: The Role and Integration of Criminal Justice, Social Service and Healthcare. Thousand Oaks [u.a.: SAGE, 2009. Print.
Manning, Peter K. Policing Contingencies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Print.
Plant, Raymond. Information Technology: The Public Issues. Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press u.a, 1988. Print.
Ross, Jeffrey I. Policing Issues: Challenges and Controversies. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2012. Print.
Smeenk, Wilma H. and Marijke Malsch. Family Violence and Police Response: Learning from Research, Policy and Practice in European Countries. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005. Print.
Stark, Evan, and Eva S. Buzawa. Violence against Women in Families and Relationships. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2009. Print.