AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — The Aurora Police Department plans to have a special unit dedicated to domestic violence cases by the end of the year. Officials say Aurora is one of the few large cities without a unit focused on investigating and preventing domestic violence related crimes.

Chief Nick Metz says creating the new unit before he retires at the end of the year is a priority. He points to an increase of domestic violence cases,  including three murders in the past few months.

The police department stated:

  • On average, APD responds to 6,700 Domestic Violence related calls for service per year.
  • Over the last 4 years, APD has responded to double the number of Domestic Violence (DV) incidents, and more than three times as many Felony DV Aggravated Assaults, as compared to prior years. Sadly, this has included several DV related murders over the last four years… including three in the last couple months. It is hoped that having a specialized process will give those who are victims of abuse the courage and confidence to report violence.
  • Domestic Violence is one of the most underreported crimes. When a reported crime of an aggravated DV assault or murder occur, it is rare that it is the first-time violence has occurred in the home. Sadly, in many of those murder cases, it is believed the victim endured multiple unreported assaults by the suspect. Again, our goal would be to help give victims the courage to report and follow-through to prosecution, thus minimizing repeat calls and escalation of violence.
  • Domestic violence crosses all economic, racial, sexual orientation, and cultural categories. It is often a cyclical crime that if not addressed appropriately can repeat itself at the hands of children who witness such ongoing violence in their own families.
  • Domestic violence calls are one of the leading causes of assaults and murders against law enforcement officers throughout the country. In fact, since the beginning of the year, five officers around the country were murdered responding to DV / familial related calls. The number of officers seriously wounded while responding to DV related calls, as well as OIS incidents is staggering. Such an incident involved one of our own last year.
  • A specialized DV unit would be able to help identify those addresses that patrol officers should approach with extreme caution based on information that may come out post-patrol response. And again, hopefully reduce repeat incidents and escalation.

“We want to ensure that APD is doing everything it can to truly serve and protect victims of family violence,” department officials stated. “If you are, or know someone that is, a victim of domestic violence, we are here to help and have resources that we can provide.”

You can reach the Dispatch Center at 303-627-3100 or by calling 911. You can also follow this link for a list of resources that are available.

 

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