Local department explains domestic violence procedures - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local department explains domestic violence procedures

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MT. VERNON -- News 3 is taking a closer look about how police deal with domestic situations. 

Mt. Vernon Police Department explains what goes into handling these situations. 

Sergeant Ryan Crews said the department responds to at least three domestic disturbance calls per shift. 

"It's probably one of the most dangerous things that police officers respond to," Crews said. 

Last year the Mt. Vernon Police Department responded to 714 domestic calls, 335 were physical and 379 were verbal. 

"Number one, it's never the same, it's never mundane and you might walk in and the first five minutes develop an idea on how it's going to go and it might change at the drop of a hat," Crews said. 

Crews said depending on the call, there are different strategies on how to respond. 

"If it's physical we want to get there immediately, if it's verbal we can be a little but more safe about our response," Crews said. 

Once officers arrive on scene, their first step is to separate the two parties involved. 

"Traditionally it's a man and a woman but we have had all kinds of domestic situations," Crews said. 

Then officers get both sides of the story to try to determine the aggressor and victim. 

"Meanwhile, we are visually checking for injuries," Crews said. 

Crews said in Illinois, there are domestic violence laws saying, if there is physical evidence on the victim, the authorities can automatically arrest the aggressor.

"We are bound by our own department policy along with Illinois law to try and make an arrest every time we deal with one of these," Crews said. 

Crews said before making any arrest, they take statements, pictures if there are any injuries and assist the victim with the services they needed. 

If you or someone you know is experience a violent relationship, you are urged to call the local police or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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