Troopers Receive Advanced Domestic Violence Awareness Training

March 24, 2017

Maryland state troopers are beginning advanced domestic violence awareness training today in an effort to increase their understanding of all aspects of a domestic violence investigation and their knowledge of all services available to victims they encounter.

Provided by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, the advanced training will be required for all Maryland State Police employees holding the rank of trooper through sergeant who are assigned to the Field Operations Bureau. Most of these troopers are assigned to State Police barracks and would be the first ones to respond to calls for service involving domestic violence. Sergeants are usually the duty officers overseeing State Police response to such calls and would be responsible for making certain the trooper adhered to policy regarding domestic violence investigations.

“A situation involving domestic violence is dangerous for both the victim and the responding police officer,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi said. “It is vital that our troopers are aware of all the possible dangers for themselves and the victims. Our goal is to bring the abuser to justice, while giving the victim every opportunity possible to end the cycle of violence and protect themselves and their children from further abuse.”

The 3.5 hour advanced training, being conducted today at Maryland State Police Headquarters, will include developing practical skills for on-scene interaction with domestic violence victims, as well as instruction for troopers on how to implement available options when responding to domestic violence calls. The training also involves how to recognize signs of trauma in a domestic violence victim and how to interact with a victim in that situation. Troopers will also be provided information about the research behind the lethality assessment screening and why those questions can provide an accurate prediction of risk for that domestic violence victim.

Maryland State Police supervisors from each of 23 barracks will be the first to receive the training today. They will then be providing training and information to their subordinates at their respective barracks. The advanced training is expected to be completed by all assigned personnel before the end of the year.

A domestic violence coordinator is currently assigned at each Maryland State Police barrack. This individual, usually a criminal investigator, is responsible for reviewing all reports of domestic violence and conducting follow up on every investigation. This includes additional photographing of victims 72 hours after the reported assault to ensure any evidence such as bruising that developed after the assault is noted and recorded. The domestic violence coordinator is also to ensure the victim is reminded of available services and is provided any possible assistance. This includes taking the victim to obtain a protective order or providing transportation to court, if needed.

All state troopers receive domestic violence investigation training beginning in the Police Academy. Continuing training is provided during in-service school throughout a trooper’s career. Mandated training, like that beginning today, is provided to Field Operations Bureau troopers on a regular basis. All training is focused on ensuring Maryland state troopers are fully equipped to respond, assess, and react properly when dispatched to a domestic violence scene.

For more information about the lethality assessment program, visit Domestic violence coordinators are listed on the home pages of each Maryland State Police barrack. Visit and click on ‘barrack locations.’ Then, click on the closest barrack and find the domestic violence coordinator’s name, as well as resource information, in the lower right hand column.