The Chief's Blog
On a recent walk, I was engaged in a discussion about
domestic violence. This citizen was
unhappy with the local response. Without
all of the information, I could only make general statements on how, and in
what way police should respond. Domestic
violence in Louisiana is a huge problem, and I can only assume it even occurs
in Arnaudville. I do know that there are
resources available to victims, and would encourage any woman who is a victim,
or feels trapped in a relationship that is abusive, to call 2-1-1 or 232-HELP
for information on local programs.
Currently, there are several bills regarding Domestic
Violence that have been introduced to the state legislature by Rep. Helena
Moreno and Sen. J.P Morrell. (Click here to read a summary of them). It is incumbent
upon every law enforcement agency to keep track of these bills, and be prepared
to uphold any laws or amendments that come out of this legislative
session. Here are a few:
- Exemplary Damages: This bill authorizes the award of damages in
lawsuits claiming injury caused by a family or household member regardless of
whether the defendant was prosecuted for such acts. In other words, victims of domestic violence can
sue the husband or boyfriend for damages.
- Immediate Divorce: In Louisiana, it is required to wait 180 days
before a divorce is granted. This bill will allow an immediate divorce upon a finding by a court that the other spouse
has physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking a divorce.
- Protective Order: Currently, clerks of court are required to
transmit protective orders to the Louisiana Protective Order Registry no later
than close of business the day following issuance by a judge. This bill expedites the transmittal to the
state registry directly and electronically by judges on the same day it is
ordered. This bill further requires that
law enforcement officers immediately arrest a person in violation of a
protective order, and presumes that a person in violation of the protective
order is the aggressor to avoid arrest of the person protected.
- Firearm Possession: Louisiana consistently leads the nation in
domestic violence homicides with 74% committed with a firearm. This bill corrects a loop-hole in the federal
law that Louisiana has used. Finally,
this bill permits officers to confiscate firearms at a domestic violence scene
if the abuser is subject to a protective order or if there is a threat of
Other bills and amendments are included in this
package, and some have to do with firearms, and restriction of firearm
ownership for those under protective orders.
I suggest that you go to the website for more information.