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New Haven police complete training on new domestic violence prevention laws

NEW HAVEN  -- Police Officers completed new training Thursday, related to an new public aimed at eliminating dual arrests at Domestic Violence complaints.

Barbara Bellucci, a Family Violence Victim  Advocate e planned the new 2019 Public Act, “We are now adopting dominant aggressor language which is giving police officers that discretion to make a determination about who the dominant aggressor might be.”

An improvement for police, this new law allows police to use some discretion when investigating a domestic violence complaint. When police encounter two people at a scene who are both making a domestic violence complaint against one another, they now have the power to determine who the “Dominant Aggressor” is.

Bellucci said it’s early but the law is working, “Well it’s new, the law has only been in effect for about three weeks. I can tell you from the reports I’m reading, Police, especially in New Haven are doing an amazing job. I read a bunch of reports, that I think prior to January 1, would have clearly resulted in a dual arrest.”

Under the old law, police would have to arrest both complainants- making a dual arrest on a single incident. The old law, based on the Tracey Thurman case, did not allow any discretion for police officers, they had to make an arrest, when there’s probably cause. This practice began to discourage woman from calling police for help. Fear a call to police would likely mean they get arrested too. And that can have tragic consequences. Today at New Haven PD, domestic violence victims advocates were training officers on the new approach.

Detective Cherelle Carr of the NHPD Special Victims Unit said cops are liking the new law, “They love it, and they’re investigating more. I think when you’re a cop it’s important for you to find out who did what. And this new law gives you the tool to do that, so I say that they love it they’re applying it.”

The decades old law, which for its time was a step in the right direction, needed to be improved. This year, police taking domestic violence investigations in a new direction.


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