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Thursday, October 18, 2007

[WA] Parents of slain chief's wife, Crystal, took message to New York

Judsons take anti-DV message
The Peninsula Gateway
Michael Colello
October 17th, 2007

Lane Judson sometimes jokes that he thought he retired in 1995. But for the past four years, he’s been working tirelessly to help victims of domestic violence. In April 2003, his daughter Crystal was shot in a Gig Harbor parking lot by her estranged husband, former Tacoma Police Chief David Brame. Brame then fatally turned the gun on himself, in front of the couple’s children. Crystal died in the hospital days later.

Judson, now 72, swore to fight to help people trapped in abusive relationships like the one that ended his daughter’s life. Since then, Judson and his wife Patty have been a force for change, pushing for local, state and federal legislation to curb domestic violence by law-enforcement personnel. Judson has also taken his message across Washington state, speaking to different groups about the dangers of domestic violence and its toxic effects on communities. “I said after the day that I buried my daughter that I would do this,” Judson said.

Last week, the Judsons took their message out of state for the first time, serving as keynote speakers at the New York Coalition Against Domestic Violence, at the legislative building in Albany, N.Y. The Judsons were invited to speak by the non-profit group Liza’s Legacy, founded in honor of Liza Ellen Warner, a New York woman who was murdered by her husband in 2004.

Judson said he was honored to have received the call. And it’s just the start of a string of appearances outside the state for the former Navy chief and retired Boeing worker. On Oct. 31, Judson is slated to appear on a domestic violence panel at the National College of District Attorneys in Orlando, Fla. Speaking engagements are also tentatively scheduled next year in Oregon and South Carolina.

Judson said his goal is to see all law enforcement agencies across the country adopt policies to deal more firmly with domestic abuse perpetrated by those within their ranks.

“So other young ladies, and men, like Crystal won’t have to go through that in their own lives,” he said. Judson said abusers use control and intimidation as much as physical blows.
Yet, domestic violence at the hands of cops takes on an added degree of terror.
Judson said victims of officer-involved domestic violence are sometimes unwilling to seek help, believing that no one will believe their claims. Worse, he said, law enforcement agencies can be loath to investigate one of their own accused of abusing a spouse or child. “I think they sometimes tend to protect their fellow officers,” Judson said.

Judson said as many as 40 percent of people in law enforcement abuse their spouses — as opposed to 10 percent in the general population. While the Judsons continue to mourn their daughter — as do her two orphaned adolescent children — some positive changes have emerged from the tragedy. In 2004, the Tacoma Police Department adopted an enhanced domestic violence policy, with step-by-step instructions dealing with officers accused of abuse and protecting victims. That same year, the state Legislature adopted regulations requiring every law enforcement agency in the state to have officer-involved domestic violence policies. In 2005, federal legislation called The Crystal Judson Brame Domestic Violence Protocol Program was passed.

An amendment to the Violence Against Women Act, the program offers funds for law enforcement and other government entities for domestic violence training. That year, Washington legislators also wrote to the 49 other state governors, attorneys general and insurance commissioners, encouraging adoption of officer-involved domestic policies.

While proud of these achievements, Judson says he’s just getting started. “I’m only halfway to 144 years old,” he said.
“So expect me on your doorstep for a long time before then.”

1 comment:

  1. Lane and Patsy Judson are to be praised for all their tireless efforts to make a difference in DV among police officers. They have done this all on their own without any outside financial backing and yet managed to make possible a bill (with the support of congressmen) to be signed by the President to help this process along the way. Their mission and promise to their daughter, Crystal, is far from over. There is a lot yet to be accomplished.

    I wish them much success in their future endeavors.


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