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Friday, December 14, 2007

[IL] How cops handle colleagues' domestic violence charges

The Daily Journal
By Tamara Sharman

[Excerpts] An officer's badge doesn't give him a license to break the law. If anything, a higher standard applies. Yet, domestic violence seems to be a problem that happens more frequently in police officers' families. According to the National Center for Women and Policing, two studies have shown that at least 40 percent of law enforcement families experience domestic violence, while studies on the general population show domestic violence occurs in anywhere between 10 percent to 30 percent of American families. Those numbers are probably not accurate. Chief Deputy Ken McCabe, who leads internal affairs investigations for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Police, believes domestic violence cases are "probably way underreported" among police officers and the public. He is not alone in his assessment. Most domestic violence advocates believe that women do not feel safe enough to report the crime... "Police officers see the worst of the worst in people," [
Bradley Deputy Chief Steve] Coy said. But when domestic violence is committed by a police officer, the situation becomes even more dangerous for a woman, according to the National Center for Women and Policing, because the offender carries a gun, knows the sites of shelters for battered women, and knows "how to manipulate the system" in order to avoid legal repercussions and to shift blame to the victim. In Chicago, a separate department investigates and helps victims of police domestic violence. But to keep the staff and the victims safe, the office's location is kept a secret and there is an elaborate security system on the front door... Domestic violence has been raised in the case of Drew Peterson, the Bolingbrook Police veteran who resigned after coming under suspicion in the October disappearance of wife Stacy Peterson, and in the 2004 death of ex-wife Kathleen Savio. Reports of domestic violence sent Bolingbrook officers to the home of Drew Peterson and Kathleen Savio 18 times during two years. Savio accused her husband of beating and threatening to kill her, but he was never charged. Yet Peterson convinced authorities to twice charge Savio with domestic battery, according to the Associated Press. She was acquitted.
[Full article here]


  1. Wives hesitate to call 911 because they know it could mean their partner's career.

  2. Or for me there was always an implied threat that I KNEW what would happen if it impacted or came near his job.


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