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Police Use of Domestic Violence Information Systems, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1997
176 pages
The Seattle Police Department (SPD) initiated a research program to develop a data management system for use in long-term evaluations and for improving police efforts to prevent domestic violence.
To assist the SPD, the Justice Research Center surveyed police departments known for their development and use of advanced domestic violence information systems. Police departments with innovative systems were identified in a variety of ways, such as through government reports and literature related to law enforcement handling of domestic violence and contacts with key Federal clearinghouses and agencies concerned with domestic violence. Telephone interviews were conducted in 11 police departments in Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado, Kentucky, Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and California. Many police departments had only recently developed domestic violence information systems or were currently in the process of developing them. Systems in San Diego, Chicago, Miami, and Nashville appeared to be the most advanced and offered the SPD useful information. Police departments in Boston, Chicago, and Portland developed or tried to develop elaborate data collection and retrieval systems but encountered obstacles large enough to end system use. All police departments had separate domestic violence units, and six police departments maintained domestic violence databases that varied in content, comprehensiveness, and age. For the most part, these databases contained information drawn from standard incident reports and were used by police departments for case investigation, especially for identifying repeat offenders and tracking caseload status. Implications of the findings from the survey of police departments for the SPD are discussed. Case studies of six police departments are included, and additional information and forms associated with domestic violence information systems are appended. Tables and figures

Date Published: February 1, 1997