Police academy trains for domestic violence calls

Police academy trains for domestic violence calls

SPOKANE, Wash. - Domestic violence is the Spokane Police Department's number one call for service, the number one reason for SWAT team standoffs and, unfortunately, the most dangerous assignment police respond to.

"On domestic violence type calls, for Spokane it is a two officer minimum and when we do go to the call we don't pull up right up front of the call because we know that inherent risk of doing so," said John Everly. 

Everly is the DV instructor at the Spokane Police Academy. He's teaching 29 recruits how to help resolve domestic disputes without anybody getting hurt.

"What the basic law enforcement academy defines a crisis as is increased emotions and decreased reasoning and so when people are in that state their cognitive ability to think and make rational choices is greatly diminished," Everly said.

Word of the fatal shooting of a Tacoma police officer spread quickly around the academy this morning.

SPD recruit Brandon Roy is still committed to his new career field and helping people resolve their problems, but also knows the job is getting more dangerous every day.

"The thing is you want to calm down the situation and determine who the primary aggressor is, so you just want to make sure you get your investigation done and make the right decision," Roy said.

Quite often, as police take the primary aggressor to jail, the victim can turn on the officers and actually try to hurt the cops.

"That could definitely be a safety problem because you don't know what they are going to do and why you need to make sure your backup keeps cover on you and you watch around make sure you're going to get home safe," Roy said.