Domestic violence calls pose officer risk

Friday, May 9th 2008, 9:09 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

Officers risk their lives every day when they respond to a call. The danger increases significantly when that situation involves domestic violence.

This type of situation was seen Thursday yesterday when a domestic violence call turned into a 10 and a half hour standoff and left one officer shot.

This confirmed what police knew all along. Domestic violence calls are the most dangerous they can respond to.

That's backed up by some statistics recently released.

Shots fired, and an officer down in the 3000 block of NE 9. But it wasn't a bank robbery or an attempted larceny; it started as a domestic dispute and this isn't an isolated incident.

"High, high number of calls of any agency in Oklahoma is going to be to interpersonal conflict or domestic violence issues," Jim Cox with the Oklahoma Association of Police Chiefs said.

After Thursday's standoff, police arrested 55-year-old John Ivory Thomas. He initially refused to come out of the home and reportedly fired off several rounds. Authorities recovered 26 shell casings, a semi-automatic weapon and ammunition.

The officer shot will recover just fine, but that's not always the case.

"It is increasing and that's a concern and we're trying to craft ways to identify and address those things as far in advance as we can," Cox said.

And neither is the numbers just released by the State Associations of Police Chiefs. Forty-three percent of the homicides from 2004 to 2005 were caused by some form of domestic violence.

This trend shows no signs of slowing down.

And the association is on a list of potential risk factors that they'll be training officers on. It will train them in what to expect when they enter into a domestic violence situation.