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Domestic violence calls can be most dangerous for law enforcement

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HARTFORD -- Police say a dangerous, domestic dispute took place in Hartford on Friday. Connecticut state police have identified a man who was shot and critically wounded by a city officer and accused him of holding a woman hostage at knife-point during a domestic dispute. Domestic related calls can be some of the most dangerous calls police can respond to.

Hartford police officers, Michael Bodner and Chris White got to the scene at a Garden Street apartment and came face to face with a Hartford man, 39-year-old Dennis Lawrence, who is accused of holding a woman hostage at knife-point – officers asking him multiple times to drop the knife as heard over dispatch.

It was then that police say officer White shot the man, and he is now undergoing surgery at St. Francis hospital. This happened Friday around 11 a.m., and both officers were not physically injured. The Hartford Police Union President released this statement to Fox61, "Domestic related incidents are one of the most dangerous calls for service a police officer encounters as a suspect’s high level of emotion often leads to unpredictable results. Members of the Hartford police department consistently train for these types of calls and are extremely successful in resolving situations to ensure the safety of those involved, especially the victims," said Sgt. John Szewczyk president, Hartford police union.

Liza Andrews with Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence said while guns are the most commonly used weapon in intimate partner violence homicides both in Connecticut and nationwide, knives are second. The state is averaging 14 intimate partner homicides a year and over 80 percent of those victims are women.

"It is about power and control, and can represent a danger for the police officers that are responding as well, cause they represent that authority that can take away the power and control of the abuser very quickly," said Andrews, director public policy and communications.

Andrews said abusers tend to isolate their victims from friends and family so they do have a 24/7 hotline where you can call across the state and speak with a certified counselor. The domestic violence hotline is 888-774-2900.

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