Thursday, May 24, 2018

Police Officer-Involved Domestic Violence in the News: From the Police Wife Blog (UPDATED)

A selection of news about incidents involving allegations of police officer-involved domestic violence and related issues from the Police Wife blog. All accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

I'll update this post with new items as they come in. Please send in other news of interest. Also see my previous post with news from Nov. 2017 to May 2018 and my earlier post with news up to Nov. 2017.

Deputy accused of sexually assaulting girl, 4, threatening to have mother deported if she spoke up

(The Washington Post) June 18, 2018, by Samantha SchmidtA sheriff’s deputy in Texas has been accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and threatening to deport her undocumented mother if she reported the crime, authorities say.

Authorities arrested detention officer Jose Nunez, a 10-year veteran of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, early Sunday while he was off duty.... Read the full article here.

New Bedford police sergeant charged with domestic abuse

(The Standard-Times) June 8, 2018, Dartmouth-MassachusettsA New Bedford police sergeant is charged with choking a woman he had been seeing during a domestic dispute Sunday at her home, according to court records.

Carlos M. Taveira, 42, of Dartmouth is charged with assault and battery on a household member, a misdemeanor; and strangulation or suffocation, which is a felony, court records say.... Read the full article here.

Calgary police officer charged with assault after domestic incident

(The Toronto Star) June 4, 2018, Calgary, Alberta, CanadaA Calgary police officer charged with assault after a domestic incident last week is now on paid leave.

The officer has been with the service for 20 years. He had been on an unrelated leave of absence since the beginning of the year and remains on paid leave — though typical procedure dictates that will be reassessed after a week, said police spokesperson Emma Poole.... Read the full article here.

York City Police officer arrested for alleged domestic assault, police say
Ritchie Page Blymier of the York
City Police Department

(The York Daily Record) May 21, 2018, York, PennsylvaniaThe City of York has relieved one of its police officers of duty with pay following his arrest Sunday afternoon at his North Codorus Township home for an alleged domestic-related assault, according to a news release.  

Ritchie Page Blymier, 48, of the 3800 block of Old Joseph Road, was taken to Central Booking and charged with simple assault and harassment. He was released on $5,000 unsecured bail, according to online dockets.... Read the full article here.

Local police officer arrested after child found with severe bruises: What we know now

(The Dayton Daily News) May 18, 2018, Dayton, OhioThe alleged child victim of a Clay Twp. police officer arrested for domestic violence had severe bruising on the face caused by an open-handed slap, according to court records.

Here’s what we know about the allegations:

The allegations

Martin D. Stringfellow, 47, was alleged to have hit the child on May 8 at a home in Brookville, according to court documents filed in the western division of Montgomery County Municipal Court.... Read the full article here.

Glynn Co. Police Lieutenant arrested after alleged domestic incident, "I'm going to kill him!"

( May 16, 2018, Jacksonville, FloridaA Glynn County Police Department Lieutenant has been arrested after he showed up at his estranged wife's home and allegedly attempted to kick down the door yelling "I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill him."

According to a report from the Glynn County Police Department, officers responded to a call of a burglary in process. When arriving on scene they found a lieutenant with their agency, Cory Sasser, who was attempting to lunge past officers at his estranged wife who had called the police.... Read the full article here.

City police constable suspended for 30 hours over domestic violence

(The Edmonton Journal) May 16, 2018, Edmonton, CanadaAn Edmonton police constable will be suspended the equivalent of 30 hours without pay after he pleaded guilty under the Police Act to discreditable conduct following a domestic violence case involving his former spouse.

Const. Jeffrey Hay pleaded guilty to one count of discreditable conduct under the Police Act, according to a May 7 police disciplinary decision. A second count was withdrawn.... Read the full article here.

Oskaloosa Police Officer Arrested After Alleged Domestic Abuse

( May 5, 2018, Oskaloosa, IowaA police officer in Oskaloosa was arrested after allegedly assaulting her girlfriend.

According to Oskaloosa News, Karissa Smith says late on Thursday night, 25-year-old Janay Pritchett of the Oskaloosa Police Department kicked her in the chest, cut her on the side of the neck with a pocket knife, and later threatened to shoot her.... Read the full article here.

See my previous post with news on officer-involved domestic violence from Nov. 2017 to May 2018 and my still-earlier post with news up to Nov. 2017 here

Find my award-winning book Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence on Amazon.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Two New Book Awards for "Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence"

My book Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence has picked up a couple of new awards!

This brings the total to five for the book's second edition and 10 awards overall for both editions of Police Wife

The latest honours: Police Wife was shortlisted in the Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing, non-fiction category; and the book got an honourable mention in the San Francisco Book Festival awards, in the non-fiction category.

Previous awards for Police Wife, 2nd ed.:

  • 2018 Los Angeles Book Festival, honourable mention
  • 2018 San Francisco Book Festival, honourable mention
  • 2017 New England Book Festival, honourable mention

Awards for the 1st edition of Police Wife:

  • American Society of Journalists and Authors' prestigious Arlene Book Award for Writing that Makes a Difference
  • Hollywood Book Festival non-fiction book award, runner-up
  • eLit Book Awards, silver
  • INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards, bronze
  • Next Generation Indie Book Awards, finalist

Support the book by writing a review on Amazon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Los Angeles Book Festival Honourable Mention for "Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence"

I'm excited to announce that my book Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence has won an honourable mention in the Los Angeles Book Festival awards, in the non-fiction category.

This prize comes after Police Wife was named a finalist in the American Book Fest's 2017 Best Book Awards in November and won an honourable mention in the New England Book Festival awards.

Both editions of Police Wife have so far won eight awards in total. 

The first edition of Police Wife won the Arlene Book Award for Writing That Makes a Difference, given once every three years by the American Society of Journalists and Authors; was the runner-up for the Hollywood Book Festival non-fiction book award; won silver in the eLit Book Awards; picked up bronze in the INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards; and was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Statistics on Police Officer-Involved Domestic Violence From the "Police Wife" Blog

They say it's hard to manage what you can't measure. As a resource for police family members and others, I present a comprehensive list of statistics on domestic violence in police homes and related issues. 

The data is adapted from my book Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence. See the book for complete references.

Domestic violence in police families
  • Percentage of 728 officers who admitted to Arizona State University sociologist Leanor Johnson in a study that they had “gotten out of control and behaved violently” toward their spouse or children in the previous six months: 40
  • Percentage of 385 male cops who admitted to Arizona police Detective Albert Seng and his study co-authors that they were violent toward their spouse at least once in the previous year: 28
  • Percentage of 115 female police spouses of male cops who told Seng their husband had been violent to them in the prior year: 25
  • Percentage of cops in their 20s who reported domestic violence: 64
  • Percentage of divorced or legally separated cops who reported domestic violence: 66
  • Percentage of U.S. and Canadian women who reported physical or sexual assault by an intimate partner in the previous year: 1.5 to 4 

Police discipline in the U.S.
  • Out of 227 investigations of LAPD officers for domestic violence from 1990 to 1997, number of upheld abuse complaints, according to a 1997 inspector general's investigation: 91 
  • Number that led to a criminal charge: 18
  • Number that led to a conviction: 4
  • Number of cops who were fired: 1
  • Most common discipline: suspension of one to four days or admonishment
  • Portion of abusive cops who had no mention of the sustained complaint in their performance records: over three-quarters
  • Percentage who got a promotion after a sustained complaint: 29
  • Out of 123 U.S. police departments responding to a 1995 survey about discipline for domestic violence, percentage that normally terminated an officer for a first sustained domestic violence incident: under 6  
  • Percentage that said termination was appropriate after a second sustained incident: 19
  • Percentage of U.S. cops convicted of misdemeanour domestic assault who lost their job, according to a 2013 study: 32 
  • Number of officers in the Puerto Rico Police Department still on active duty after two or more domestic violence arrests, according to a 2011 U.S. Department of Justice investigation: 84 out of 98 (or 86 percent) 
  • Number still on active duty after three or more domestic violence arrests: 11 out of 17 (or 65 percent)
  • Percentage of U.S. cops charged with a criminal offence who were convicted, according to a 2011 report: 33 
  • Percentage of the U.S. general public charged with a criminal offence who were convicted: 68
  • Percentage of U.S. cops convicted of a criminal charge who were incarcerated: 36
  • Percentage of the U.S. general public convicted of a criminal charge who were incarcerated: 70

Police discipline in Canada
  • Percentage of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers disciplined for domestic violence who were dismissed or ordered to resign (2008-2013): 0
  • Percentage of RCMP officers disciplined for making a false statement who were dismissed or ordered to resign: 11
  • Percentage of RCMP officers disciplined for theft who were dismissed or ordered to resign: 50
  • Average number of days of docked pay for Mounties disciplined for domestic violence: 6.8
  • Average days of docked pay for Mounties who made a false statement: 7.9
  • Average days of docked pay for Mounties disciplined for theft: 8.5
  • Percentage of officers at four large Canadian police forces who were terminated from their job after being convicted of domestic violence or disciplined for assaulting a domestic partner: 0
  • Percentage of Canadian cops convicted of domestic violence who were sentenced to prison, according to a 2015 study: 7 
  • Percentage of the Canadian general public convicted of comparable domestic violence offences who were sentenced to prison: 49

Police response around the world

The U.S. still has far to go to improve policies and discipline on officer-involved domestic violence, but Canada and other countries lag even further behind. 

The data in the table below is from a survey I sent in 2015 to 178 police forces in 10 countries: the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Australia, South Africa, the Bahamas, Ireland, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Only four of 52 police forces contacted outside North America responded to the survey. The “international” column’s figures are weighted equally by responding country and include the data for the U.S. and Canada. (See more detailed results in Police Wife.)

Read more about the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) model policy on domestic violence by officers.

Policing: a man's world
  • Percentage of U.S. cops who are women: 12 
  • Percentage of U.S. cops who said they’d be equally comfortable with a female or male boss, according to a 2008 study: 7.2 
  • Percentage of U.S. cops who agreed that “women are just as capable of thinking logically as men”: 7.1
  • Percentage of Canadian cops who are women: 21 

Police officer health
  • Portion of police spouses who wanted departments to offer cops and families alcoholism treatment and stress reduction programs, according to sociologist Leanor Johnson's study: over three-quarters 
  • Percentage of cops who said they felt worried or guilty about excessive alcohol use: 36
  • Percentage who reported suicidal thoughts: 30
  • Divorce rate of cops in large U.S. cities, according to the FBI's report Domestic Violence by Police Officers: nearly 75 percent 
  • Life expectancy of U.S. while male cops compared to the American white male average, according to a 2013 study: 21.9 years lower 
  • How long a U.S. white male cop can expect to live after the average police retirement age of 57: six years
  • How long the average U.S. white male can expect to live after age 57: 31 years

The role of police

The role of police in society is closely connected to domestic violence in police homes. The abuse is rooted in the tremendous power we bestow on officers, the impunity they enjoy and derogatory male officer attitudes to women. Many of these same issues are at the core of today’s debates about policing in our society, including police shootings of African Americans and police sexual harassment of women officers and female drivers at traffic stops. 

These same issues are also connected to broader social issues, such as growing inequality in our society and the militarization of police. Police officers are often the ones who must deal with the consequences of inequality, such as homelessness and unemployment. As the job burden on police officers grows, their families and health often pay the price. Below are correlations—all statistically significantbetween the number of police officers per capita and measures of inequality.* The more inequality, the more police we tend to find.

In 22 developed countries
Correlation of police per capita with total unemployment: 58 percent
… with youth unemployment: 63 percent
… with women’s participation in the labour force: negative 46 percent

In the U.S.

Correlation with income inequality in each state: 38 percent
… with the ratio of black to white unemployment: 42 percent
… with the ratio of black male to total white unemployment: 55 percent

In Canada
Correlation with Aboriginal youth unemployment in Canadian cities: 69 percent
… with Aboriginal male youth unemployment: 76 percent

* A correlation shows how much two sets of data fluctuate together. It doesn’t prove one thing causes the other, but it can point to predictive relationships worthy of attention. When a correlation is statistically significant, it’s very unlikely to be a random coincidence.

Find Police Wife on Amazon.
Read the Top 9 Frequently Asked Questions About Police Officer-Involved Domestic Violence.
Get a free extended excerpt of Police Wife.