COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Domestic violence happens every day.
Most often, these encounters occur between family members ending with injury or even death.
When tensions are high, it can be a challenge for officers to resolve a dispute before it turns fatal.
In a domestic situation, all it takes is one snap decision to end a life.
Three reports per week.
It’s the number of domestic calls officers at Columbus Police Department are responding to.
Police Chief Fred Shelton says all sensitive situations are to be handled calmly.
” Domestic violence is one of the most dangerous calls we encounter because of the emotional dynamics. They can tend to be quite explosive. A lot of feelings and a lot of emotions are there,” said Shelton.
While arriving at the scene, officers search the area for weapons. They also ensure all members in the dispute are separated.
“If we see evidence of a domestic situation and the victim has bruises on them, or we can tell from the scene. If we can tell that there has been a physical altercation at a person’s home, the law gives us authority to make an arrest then and there,” said Shelton.
Sometimes, victims are looking for a way out.
“It can drive someone to hurt someone,” said Shelton.
Dorothy Sanders, a Victims Advocate for the city of Columbus, provides counseling to help families in high-strung relationships.
” I gave them information and referrals to our different agencies that are available in the city. One of the agencies available in the city for domestic violence is the shelter, Safe Haven,” said Sanders.
In the transition stage, Sanders says to remember the recurring signs.
” The argument cycle, the tension building up cycle, and then explosive cycle. You can add a fourth, which is the honeymoon cycle. They’ll say I’m sorry. I’m sorry I did it,” said Sanders.
Shelton says the department is continuing to do its best to help families.
“When people can’t resolve the conflict, they resort to violence,” said Shelton.
The Columbus Police Department has more information on counseling services on their website.