Model Policy for Officer Domestic Violence

By Lonsway, Kim; Harrington, Penny | Law & Order, October 2003 | Go to article overview

Model Policy for Officer Domestic Violence


Lonsway, Kim, Harrington, Penny, Law & Order


Law enforcement agencies in the United States are faced with the challenge of preventing and responding to cases of domestic violence perpetrated by their own employees, including officers. Several research studies suggest that officers may be more likely to perpetrate domestic violence than others in the general population. Unfortunately, there are many dynamics of domestic violence that are exacerbated when the abuser is an officer.

The Lautenberg Act

In September of 1996 a federal law was passed that prohibits individuals-including officers- from owning or using a firearm if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense (18 U.S.C. [sec] 925). This bill, widely referred to as the Lautenberg Act, was passed as an amendment to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1996. By modifying the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Lautenberg Act expanded existing federal law that only barred gun ownership from those convicted of a felony offense to include those convicted of a qualifying misdemeanor domestic violence offense.

The offense does not need to be designated as domestic violence within state law, but is covered under the Lautenberg Act if it involves the use or attempted use of physical force or threat with a deadly weapon, and is committed against a current or former spouse, a past or present cohabiting partner, a person with whom the perpetrator has a child in common, a person with whom the officer has or has had a dating relationship.

Individuals with a felony or misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence are ineligible to own firearms or ammunition even if the offense occurred before the law was enacted. A section of the 1994 Crime Bill also prohibits individuals from possessing a firearm while a protective order, restraining order, or harassment order is in effect (18 U.S.C. [sec] 925). Although police and military personnel are only allowed to retain their government-issued firearm while on duty, some departments consider their officers to be on duty at all times and they would therefore not be required to relinquish their service weapon.

Unfortunately, there is typically no procedure in place to ensure that the courts notify police departments that a court order is in effect against an officer. There is also some confusion regarding which types of protective and restraining orders are included. To clarify the issue, the following description of qualifying orders is provided in the recently updated version of the IACP Model Policy.

'"Protection order' refers to any injunction or other order issued by a court, including criminal or civil orders of protection, regardless of form, content, length, layout, or name (such as stay away, restraining, criminal, and emergency or temporary protection orders or injunctions), issued for the purpose of preventing the following... Violent or threatening acts against another person, Stalking or harassment of another person, Contact or communication with another person and Physical proximity to another person."

There is also some confusion among police executives regarding that weapons may be seized from an officer when such a qualifying order is in effect. Obviously, the department must be in compliance with federal law, state law and local ordinances with respect to weapons seizure. However, the safety of the victim must be paramount in such a situation and "a department may choose to be more restrictive than federal law by prohibiting officers from possessing service weapons when subject to protective orders or under criminal and/or administrative investigations."

The IACP Model Policy

In 1999, the International Association for Chiefs of Police (IACP) released through the National Law Enforcement Policy Center a Model Policy and supporting Concepts and Issues Paper outlining procedures for handling cases of domestic violence perpetrated by police employees. The IACP Model Policy has been distributed widely since its release in April of 1999. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Model Policy for Officer Domestic Violence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.