A five-year study of police fatalities details the dangers law enforcement officers face each day. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund found domestic disputes accounted for the highest number of fatal calls for service.
“In any domestic violence calls emotions are running high, sometimes there's weapons involved, you don't necessary know the full extent of the situation you're going into as an officer, so there's a lot a different factors at play that can lead to the increased risk with those calls,” says Michael Keith, senior project manager at the NLEOMF.
That’s why communication between dispatchers and responding officers is so important.
“If there's a call history of domestic violence there, if there's a known history of weapons, mental illness or drug abuse, that's all information that's really helpful for an officer to have as they respond to those calls,” says Keith.
Keith says recent attacks against police highlight the need for more boots on the ground and better training.
“With ambush attacks, its just reinforcing officers to maintain a heightened sense of situational awareness, and when it comes to traffic stops, having an additional unit to help watch over you doing a passenger side approach instead of a driver's side approach, things like that can certainly improve officer safety,” he says.