- Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 02:34 PM
SPRINGFIELD — To equip police investigators with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to respond to domestic violence as soon as they answer a call, the General Assembly passed a proposal sponsored by State Sen. Melinda Bush in the Senate that would provide for additional training for law enforcement.
“By requiring more training, we’re sharpening our law enforcement officers’ ability to investigate these crimes. Domestic violence is stereotyped so often, and we need to fight preconceived notions of what an abuse situation looks like,” said Bush, D-Grayslake.
Currently, the law recommends but does not require police departments to coordinate domestic violence response training with service organizations and develop appropriate arrest procedures. The new training under the legislation is aimed at the prevention of further victimization, focusing on looking beyond the physical evidence of domestic violence and giving officers an understanding of the deeper psychological aspects of abusive relationships.
“Abusers need to know that our officers know what to look for,” Bush said. “When we make our investigators tougher, we make families safer.”
The legislation is House Bill 5538, which passed the Senate Wednesday. Having passed both chambers without opposition, it must be signed by the governor to become law.