Special Reports

Steps to realizing the Chicago model

To emulate Chicago's system for handling officer-involved domestic abuse, the Tacoma Police Department would need:

•An independent victims' advocate with an office in a secret location.

•An independent civilian to investigate allegations for disciplinary action, as opposed to criminal charges.

•Support staff for both the advocate and the investigator.

•Department policies encouraging prompt reporting of officer-involved domestic violence, with penalties if violated.

•Clear support of new policies throughout the department.

•A clear message to the public about the new policies.

•To be just like Chicago, officials should consider a change in state law revoking mandatory arrest for domestic violence suspects. That change, though, would probably not be welcome in the local domestic violence community.