Mayor James Petrikin

Police Chaplain Domestic Violence Follow-Up

The Fountain Valley Police Department Chaplain Program was initiated in September of 1994. All area clergy were invited to attend a planning seminar to discuss their involvement in community policing efforts particularly including their areas of professional expertise. Area clergy were given training in death notification, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, officer-involved shootings, post-traumatic stress, domestic violence and other related issues. Participating clergy members now wear clothing clearly identifying them as POLICE CHAPLAINS and accompany uniformed patrol on their assigned tours of duty. Chaplains are also available for "call out" support. These chaplains provide on-the-spot counseling for the community and a ministry of presence and available support for Fountain Valley police officers. Since February, 1997, the Police Chaplains have provided an additional service designed to support and provide further referral to victims of domestic violence. They review all domestic violence reports involving the issuance of an Emergency Restraining Order. Then the chaplains contact the protected party during the time in which the Emergency Restraining Order is in effect. The chaplain contact provides several benefits including:

  • The protected party is again offered an explanation of the Emergency Restraining Order and how to obtain a Permanent Restraining Order;

  • They are cautioned against permitting or inviting violation of the Emergency Restraining Order;

  • They are told that any underlying charges are filed by the Department and District Attorney's Office and, hence, they are not responsible for choosing whether or not charges will be filed; and

  • They are given referral to further counseling services as needed.

This program is completely voluntary in nature, with no budget and no paid support staff. It is run by one liaison police officer and eight local clergy. The program is currently being evaluated primarily on the basis of whether it reduces the recurrent nature of many domestic violence situations.

CONTACT: Det. Sgt. Dann Bean or Paul McInnis, 10200 Slater Avenue, Fountain Valley, CA 92708, Telephone - (714) 965-4468, Fax - (714) 965-4482.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

Copyright 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.