Letter to the Editor:
STATEWIDE OVERSIGHT REQUIRED FOR POLICE
October 20, 2009
Kristin Longo is dead. Her Utica Police detective husband killed her and then himself at the end of September. Their four kids are orphans.
I find myself not only saddened, but angry. Saddened because these kinds of tragedy happen all too often; angry because official neglect may be a contributing factor.
Cops who abuse are not unknown to us. The State Investigation Commission (SIC) in 2006 reporting on domestic violence in the Watertown Police Department forcefully recommended that all police agencies be mandated to have a written policy for handling situations when officers themselves are personally involved in domestic violence. SIC further said that these cases should be referred to the district attorney so you don’t have a situation like Wall Street regulating Wall Street.
We can never predict with accuracy what could alter someone’s eventual behavior, but if the governor and legislature had paid attention to the SIC report, maybe, just maybe, Kristin would not now be dead. Maybe Detective Longo would have gotten the support that he needed to make a different choice. And maybe four children would not now be orphaned.
I also think that insurance carriers should either not insure localities that do not have such a policy, or, they could reward localities that do with a premium reduction.
Regardless, New York state needs a Kristin’s Law, one that would mandate that all police agencies have a state-approved, officer-involved domestic violence policy — and that they train all officers in it. It is long overdue. Governor, how about it?
Ed Guider , Ballston Lake
- [NY] "NO SIGNS" before disarmed, reassigned-then-put-on-leave, suicidal, gun-pointing, detective killed FEARFUL wife Kristin Palumbo Longo & himself? - By the time Kristin Longo and her husband, Utica police Investigator Joseph Longo Jr., appeared in divorce court Monday afternoon, she already had been living in fear for her safety... Attorney George Massoud had expressed such concerns to the state Supreme Court judge... Less than four hours after appearing in court Monday, 39-year-old Kristin Longo was dead...
- [NY] Kristin just wanted things to be better - ...Kristin Longo’s desire for a divorce not only stemmed from marital troubles over her husband’s alleged infidelity and threats of violence; it also was meant to end the longtime verbal abuse she and her four children had to endure... "The course of action that she took is consistent with an abused person who was trying to appease her husband and trying to work things out in a fashion that is not scandalous”...
Achieved after the muder-suicide of Tacoma Police Chief David Brame on his wife Crystal, Washington State now has a law (Senate Bill 6161) mandating that all law enforcement agencies in the state have an officer-involved domestic violence policy.
..." Her death left us with sobering and agonizing questions: How could this have happened? And what can we do to prevent it from ever happening again?"...