Special Reports

Domestic violence policy on council agenda tonight

The City of Tacoma may end up writing a domestic violence policy to cover every city employee, not just those who work for the police department.

The City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on a resolution authorizing the city's Human Rights and Human Services Department to begin working with several other city departments on a plan for training city employees on how to recognize and respond to domestic violence.

If approved, the city would also ask outside groups to help craft the plan, including the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The new group would likely consist of six to 10 people and could begin work within about a week, said John Briehl, director of the city's Human Rights and Human Services Department.

The plan the group comes up with might closely resemble one being created by the Crystal Clear Committee, the group convened shortly after Police Chief David Brame fatally shot his wife, Crystal, and then himself April 26.

That group is working on a policy with specific instructions for handling officer-involved domestic violence cases.

But it could also have some important differences, Briehl said.

"We're dealing with different kinds of concerns," he said.

City workers already have started researching domestic violence policies of other organizations including the state of Washington, Tacoma Community House and TJ Maxx.

Jason Hagey: 253-597-8542


How to get involved

The Tacoma City Council meets at 5 p.m. today in the Council Chambers on the first floor of the Municipal Building, 747 Market St.