Over the course of my 20 years as an attorney, I have protected the rights of many domestic violence victims. I have always been very proud to be a lawyer in the state of New Jersey given the progressive nature our state legislature has in protecting victims. I’ve previously talked about new laws and initiatives in our state to help and protect victims.
And once again, at the end of 2012, New Jersey did not disappoint. Police officers in our state now have a new training resource from the Attorney General’s Office.
In 1991 the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, 1991 (provide link) was established. This piece of legislation mandates that every New Jersey police officer go through 4 hours of annual training in domestic violence.
And the new online program helps satisfies that requirement in a very cost-effective way by bringing the training program online.
Here is the problem: when training has to be live, there were severe scheduling problems. Police departments have officers employed 24 hours a day. If there are officers from day and night shift who need a particular training, they have to pay overtime to get them scheduled on days off. The new program is offered free to all police departments.
What is covered in this training and why is it important? In handling these cases, I have come to see that victims of domestic violence need special care and attention due to the personal and often violent nature of the abuse. Our police officers are the first responders to these crimes and often have to simultaneously deal with assailant and victim. Successful navigation of these hostile environments requires expert continual training.
As the Attorney General, Jeffrey Chiesa commented, “Given the huge impact across the state and the challenges officers face in responding to these emotionally volatile and frequently dangerous situations, it’s vital that we provide comprehensive training,”
Incidents of domestic violence are extremely serious in nature and I am proud to practice in New Jersey, a state that puts excellent supports in place to prepare first responders. If you are the victim on a domestic violence incident and have already obtained a Temporary Restraining order, it is critical for you to consult with a family lawyer to plan for your court hearing date. Please call our office at 732-246-0909.