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Layers of Meaning: Domestic Violence and Law Enforcement Attitudes in Arizona

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Publication Date: December 2006

Publisher(s): Morrison Institute for Public Policy

Author(s): Bill Hart; Richard Toon

Funder(s): Arizona. Office of the Governor

Funder(s): Arizona. Office of the Governor

Topic: Justice (Police and law enforcement)
Social conditions (Marriage and family life)

Keywords: Domestic Violence; Law Enforcement

Type: Report

Coverage: Arizona


Law enforcement officers view domestic violence as a major issue in their communities that generates other crime and violence, according to Layers of Meaning: Domestic Violence and Law Enforcement Attitudes in Arizona. For most law enforcement agencies, domestic violence is one of the most common calls and often the most common violence-related call. Based on this new statewide research, domestic violence might also be tagged the most frustrating call.

This report presents the views and voices of more than 800 Arizona street-level officers and their supervisors from throughout the state. The study is one of the largest ever undertaken in Arizona and even across the U.S. The research was done on behalf of the Governor' s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (Arizona POST). The 66-page report combines survey data with dozens of comments from officers and supervisors.

Arizona, like most states, has laws and policies that bolster law enforcement officers' arrest powers in domestic violence cases and require them to arrest suspects under certain circumstances. Layers of Meaning shows how officers feel about the criminalization of domestic violence.