Monday, October 30, 2023

Gov. Hochul unveils new guidance for N.Y. law enforcement agencies

Gov. Kathy Hochul

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced new law enforcement guidelines this week for cops responding to domestic violence incidents.

What the governor’s office calls the “Law Enforcement Domestic Incident Model Policy,” seeks to center domestic violence victims by assessing how much danger their in, particularly as it relates to possible firearms in the house and the state’s red flag law.

That law prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing any kind of firearm, and requires someone bring a petition before the block goes into effect.

“I’m committed to leading an administration that treats survivors with dignity and respect,” Hochul said. “This is personal to me: my mother was a lifelong advocate for victims of domestic abuse, and our family founded a transitional home for survivors in Western New York.”

The new protocols give law enforcement guidance on how best to determine if a domestic violence response might warrant an extreme risk protection order, which is needed to put the red flag law into effect.

Under the protocols, police officers would be required to file a domestic incident report whether or not an offense occurred, or an arrest is made, limit their use of body-worn cameras if a victim requests, and notify vitcims of the available legal mechanisms to obtain orders of protection along with custody and housing assistance.

Additionally, the governor also announced a new $1 million investment to expand the use of the state’s red flag law through training and technical assistance for community-based organizations potential extreme risk protection orders petitioners.

In 2022, Hochul signed an expansion to the red flag law that requires law enforcement, medical and mental health providers, and select education staff to petition the court if they determine a person is a risk to themself or others.

Furthering the state’s efforts against domestic violence, the governor signed legislation requiring the State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence to distribute informational materials on economic abuse.

New York State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline provides free, confidential support 24/7 and is available in most languages: 800-942-6906 (call), 844-997-2121 (text) or (chat). Individuals also can visit OVS Resource Connect to find a victim assistance program in their community.

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