Seattle Police Department Shifts Domestic Violence Response

Posted on Dec 07, 2013

Following an open letter from King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, many have voiced concerns about the Seattle Police Department’s commitment to investigating domestic abuse crimes in Washington. Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel has responded to the letter by stating the department’s continued dedication to stopping domestic abuse, but also by again changing the department’s response to domestic violence cases.

Satterberg stated in his letter that the SPD was now having patrol officers investigate domestic violence misdemeanors instead of detectives—a move that Satterberg believes will make it more difficult to prosecute domestic abuse cases. In addition, Satterberg wrote that the move made it more difficult to differentiate DV misdemeanors and DV felonies.

Satterberg stressed that a significant number of domestic violence misdemeanors escalate over time into more serious crimes—including felonies, assaults, and even murders. His letter, which addressed the City Council, urged the SPD and the city of Seattle to hire more people to investigate these crimes and to make sure both domestic violence misdemeanors and felonies are prosecuted after an effective investigation.

Pugel responded by telling the media that they will be bolstering their domestic violence response by looking into how many domestic violence misdemeanors detectives could put back on their plates and by making sure that patrol officers handling the new cases would receive special training.

This exchange comes on the heels of a heated debate about domestic violence between Washington State Senator Ed Murray and current Mayor Mike McGinn. Murray contended that domestic violence rates have skyrocketed under McGinn’s watch, while McGinn contended that he has made domestic violence a priority during his tenure.

One way that you can be sure that your domestic violence misdemeanor or felony is handled properly is by working with a knowledgeable and experienced Seattle domestic violence attorney. Call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today to schedule an appointment at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
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