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Centralized Response to Domestic Violence: San Diego County Sheriff

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2002
77 pages
This study examined the implementation of a specialized domestic violence unit within the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to respond to calls involving some type of domestic disturbance.
In 1997, utilizing funding from the Office of Justice Programs’ Violence Against Women Grants Office, the sheriff’s office in San Diego developed a specialized unit charged with responding to domestic violence calls. This report reveals the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of this specialized unit. In order to assess the specialized unit, the evaluators convened a monthly meeting with a group comprised of representatives from victim advisory groups, the prosecutor, the public defender, probation, the medical community, treatment providers, and members of the sheriff’s domestic violence unit. The purpose of this meeting was to monitor the research and the data collection methods. Data included a survey of field deputies concerning their knowledge of domestic violence laws, source documents from the domestic violence unit including training materials, phone interviews with victims of domestic violence, and case tracking of reported cases of domestic violence. Results indicate that having one specialized unit comprised of experts with training in domestic violence had a positive impact on domestic violence cases in San Diego County. One problem that was revealed through this research was that officers in this unit experienced “burn out” to a greater degree than officers who were not in a specialized unit. In conclusion, the authors found that the unit was implemented as it was designed to be and it was meeting the objectives it had set forth at its inception. References, appendices, tables, and figures

Date Published: May 1, 2002