KCK police aim to reduce domestic violence homicides

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department is working to reduce the number of domestic violence-related homicides.

In late fall, officers will use a lethality assessment when responding to domestic violence calls.

“Depending on the answers given to these questions, it may trigger a call for shelter, Sgt. Greg Vickers of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said.

The lethality assessment is what some local law enforcement agencies use to help a victim of domestic violence.

“Now if you answer yes to any of the top 3 questions, that’s an automatic trigger for a safe home,” said Sgt. Vickers said.

Vickers said he has been using this rating since joining the team in 2011.

Now Kansas City, Kansas police will also use it by the end of the year.

Although the questions may differ in each police service, the objective is the same.

“This is an extremely dangerous situation for a victim and our goal as a police service, and it should also be for the community, is to offer help to these victims,” said Major Brittanie Pruitt of the KCKPD. “Give them help and show them there is a way out. There are other resources to help you out of this situation.

Pruitt said about 38% of KCK homicides this year were the result of domestic violence.

The ministry received a grant from the Federal Bureau of Violence Against Women to implement the program.

He uses the funds to hire a 24-hour coordinator.

“We finalize our report, and then we sit down with officers at our annual in-service training, and that will be given to them and show them what the questions look like, which triggers a response,” Pruitt said.

KCK police said they know people don’t always call 911 for help. People can reach the ministry’s victim services team at 913-573-5616. The national domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

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