Dangers Officers Face When Responding To Domestic Calls

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GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Many in the Magnolia State are continuing to heal and while also trying to wrap their minds around a horrible tragedy that happened over the weekend.

Four people were killed after a 12 hour domestic hostage situation unfolded in Clinton on Saturday.

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Whether it’s at a home or out in public, a domestic disturbance situation can break out anywhere and anytime.

“When we go into these situations, we’re going into a family situation where loved ones are at each other’s throat,” said Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton. “The passion and the desire that they have for one another, they can take that same passion and turn it against us, the police officers that are coming to assist”

“These are the most dangerous calls you can go to because you don’t know what mental or emotional state someone is in,” said Sergeant Brandon Lovelady, Public Information Officer with the Starkville Police Department.

Sgt. Lovelady has been with the Starkville Police Department for 10 years.

He’s worked his share of domestic calls.

“Whether they be siblings, whether they be in a current dating relationship, former dating relationship, whether they have a child together also, or a parent child situation,” said Lovelady.

As an officer, he said it’s his goal to diffuse and de-escalate the situation.

However, sometimes that’s not how it unfolds.

“Unfortunately sometimes it’s too late and incidents like, you may remember the one that occurred at Walmart last year, tragedies like that occur,” Lovelady recalled.

“Sometimes that peaceful solution doesn’t come in 10 minutes or 15 minutes,” Shelton explained. “Sometimes we think that what we see on television shows that generally in an hour the whole case is wrapped up but it’s not like that in real law enforcement. Sometimes it may take hours.”

Shelton said domestic disturbance calls are a high risk and also unpredictable.

However, the police chief said his officers are trained and taught certain techniques to help calm the situation.

“Basically what it is is just de-escalation techniques, trying to talk to each other,” said Shelton. “Conflict resolution. Talking to each party, trying to see what the issue is and seeing if we can get help.”

According to a state law, if someone is arrested during a domestic disturbance call, a bond shall not be given to the suspect until they’ve appeared before a judge.

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