Mayor John DeStefano

Domestic Violence Unit

The New Haven Police Department recognized that violence in the family is preventable. Therefore, a Domestic Violence Unit was started in 1994. This unit is part of the police department's Investigative Services Unit.

The Domestic Violence Unit is staffed by a sergeant, officers and detectives. The unit also has one part-time investigative aide. Thorough investigations of domestic violence incidents and appropriately enforcing applicable laws is a priority for the Domestic Violence Unit, as aggressive investigating produces short and long-term positive effects for the community as a whole. It reduces homicides, assaults, elder and child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic hostage situations and officer injuries.

The Domestic Violence Unit offers meaningful intervention in the violent learned behavior of children which translates into juvenile crime on the streets and in the schools, as well as creating a whole new generation of batterers. Meaningful intervention from the Domestic Violence Unit is the key to stopping the cycle of violence.

The Domestic Violence Unit works diligently toward its goal of stopping the violent behavior in New Haven by coordinating a multi-disciplinary response as the basis for law enforcement intervention in domestic violence. The unit provides equal protection of the law to all victims of family violence and offers quality investigations, victim referrals, safety planning, enhanced prosecution and police and public education. The unit has also succeeded in sending a clear message of trust to reluctant victims, as well as increase officer, prosecutor and judge satisfaction, reduced citizen complaints and gained the community's confidence in the criminal justice system.

Through a partnership with the State's Attorneys Office, the unit has built strong cases without relying solely on victim testimony. It has also formed a partnership with the Connecticut Department of Probation to assure that victims are safe even after the criminal case has reached a disposition. Additional coordination with all of the community outreach agencies has worked to ensure appropriate referrals for services to victims of domestic violence including utilization of the Child Development - Community Policing Program to offer crisis intervention to children who have witnessed domestic abuse. The unit also offers education to the community as a way to educate citizens on the problem and effects of domestic violence.

The unit employs four police personnel and one part-time civilian employee, and is funded by the city personnel budget.

CONTACT: Lt. F. Ortiz, 1 Union Avenue, New Haven, CT 06519, Telephone - (203) 946-6290, Fax - (203) 946-7375.

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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.