New guidance for law enforcement responding to domestic violence
ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor Kathy Hochul signed new legislation last week providing additional guidance to police departments around New York when responding to domestic violence calls and how local officials are responding.
Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike said, “It’s important that law enforcement when they get a report of this, that we take a look at this pattern of behavior.”
The new guidance applies to an existing Domestic Incident Model Policy and invests additional money into expanding the use of state red flag laws around New York.
Spike said that the new guidance will help his deputies.
“There’s social media, other types of threats. If the individual has been hurt, then photographic injuries. Then looking at the past history, if any. Audio recordings and things like that.”
The Governor’s new legislation secures $1 million to further expand the use of New York’s red flag laws in situations of intimate partner and gender-based violence. It outlines steps to have firearms removed from a partner if warranted.
In addition to requiring officers to make a report regardless of whether an arrest is made, it requires survivors be provided with information about legal services available to them, like protective orders and help with custody and housing.
Kelli Owens, Executive Director of the New York State Department of the Prevention of Domestic Violence, said that law needs to be more survivor centered.
“It’s important to think about what the survivor is saying to you. It’s their journey. It’s their safety and they know best.”