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Law Enforcement's Role in the Investigation of Family Violence (From The Battered Child, P 392-400, 1987, Ray E Helfer and Ruth S Kempe, eds. -- See NCJ-111195)

NCJ Number
J R Shepherd
Date Published
9 pages
Police can upgrade their response to child abuse through specialized units and team approaches, specialized multidisciplinary investigations, and officer recruit and inservice training.
The community expects police to protect the community's children, even from their own parents, so police involvement in responding to child abuse situations is part of law enforcement's protective role. Because of the complex dynamics and special circumstances of child abuse, it requires police child abuse units and multidisciplinary team strategies for investigation. In addition, all officers should receive basic and inservice training that sensitizes them to child abuse and the importance of reporting their suspicions of child abuse to the appropriate investigative unit. In responding to domestic violence calls, officers should make a point of determining if any children are in the household and then observing the children for signs of abuse and neglect. Structures of cooperation between the police, prosecutor's office, and child protection services should be established to ensure that cases are appropriately handled. 15 references.