Domestic Violence and Mandatory Arrest: Influences on Police Officer Actions

By John F. Waldron | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 4
Research Findings

For the sake of clarity, the findings are discussed in the following order: First, the demographic data for the participants is examined, followed by the officers’ opinions of their personal policing style and their departmental policies and practices. Next, the subjects’ overall training and departmental and judicial support for domestic violence enforcement are examined. Finally, the officers’ philosophies concerning domestic violence enforcement are explored. This completes the examination of the self-report first phase of the questionnaire.

The second part of the questionnaire consists of six potential hypothetical domestic violence scenarios in which the officers were asked to handle as if they occurred on their next tour of duty. In each scenario officers were asked to identify the offender, and then, they were asked how often they would take one of the 25 potential actions listed in the circumstances portrayed in the six scenarios. Some of these 25 actions are mandatory under the current New Jersey Criminal Code and the Attorney General Guidelines, while other actions are discretionary; finally some actions would be violations of state law. There is a follow-up question to each scenario solicits the motivation for each officer’s actions in each given situation.


PART I: DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY RESPONSES

Appendix Table 4.1 identifies the rank of the participating police officers (N=425) by the setting in which the officer works. The setting is broken down into four categories: Urban, Urban Suburb, Large Suburban, and Small Suburban. The first three of these settings are

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