11 Just. Q. 99 (1994)
The Relative Contribution of Domestic Violence to Assault and Injury of Police Officers

handle is hein.journals/jquart11 and id is 109 raw text is: THE RELATIVE CONTRIBUTION OF
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO ASSAULT
AND INJURY OF POLICE
OFFICERS
J. DAVID HIRSCHEL
CHARLES W. DEAN
RICHARD C. LUMEB
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The contribution of domestic violence calls to the danger of police work
has been a matter of major concern to police, policy makers, and researchers
for decades. Building on prior research, the authors examine three years of
data on police calls for service, assault, and injury to determine the danger
of domestic violence in relation to other types of calls. Of the 10 categories
of police activity examined, domestic disturbance ranked fourth in the ratio
of assaults to calls for service and fifth in the ratio of injuries to calls for
service. No significant differences were observed in the background charac-
teristics of victims and offenders in domestic disturbance and other inci-
dents. Consequently it was recommended that policies to enhance officers'
safety be directed mainly at handling incidents in general rather than being
geared specifically to responding to domestic disturbances.
The contribution of domestic violence calls to the danger of po-
lice work has been a matter of major concern to police, policy mak-
ers, and researchers for decades. These calls represent a significant
proportion of the calls for service received by police in all jurisdic-
tions. Earlier behavioral science research reported that domestic
violence calls were the most dangerous for police; this information
stimulated widespread adoption of special training and procedures
for handling domestic violence situations, including the assignment
of extra officers to such calls. At that time, domestic violence gener-
ally was viewed as a private matter requiring the police to respond
and simply restore order, perhaps employing crisis intervention
and mediation techniques.
Domestic violence currently is considered more universally a
criminal matter. With the proliferation of preferred or mandatory
arrest policies in the United States, concern has arisen about an
increase in likelihood of injury to officers handling this type of call
for service. Recent research based on more sophisticated research

JUSTICE QUARTERLY, Vol. 11 No. 1, March 1994
 1994 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

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