officers call domestic calls the most dangerous
70,000 domestic violence
were reported in Tennessee in 2014. The Loudon Police Department
responded to 81 of those in the last year. The last call Officer Moats
responded to "was domestic violence involving a weapon." While the
average person might not think it, those domestic disturbance calls can
be some of the most dangerous for police.
Officer Kent Russell has responded to many domestic violence calls for 22 years. Russell says, "It's a vicious cycle and it repeats itself over and over."
So he teaches other officers in the region how to respond to those dangerous calls. Russell says, "You have to be mindful of your surroundings. You have to watch what's to the left, and what's to the right."
In the last year, the city of Loudon has responded to 81 domestic calls in a city of 57 hundred people. Sgt. Robert Newman tells me those are the most dangerous calls for him. Robert Newman says, "They're one of the most violent you'll ever deal with. Why is that? The unknown."
That's why officers say they never park in front of the house, but walking up is the most dangerous part. Sgt. Newman says, "They have upper-hand. You approach doing everything right, and they have the upper hand."
The law says a police officer can arrest the aggressor, but doesn't have to. They'll put the aggressor in handcuffs if they break the law in ways like assault or damage to personal property. Russell says, "You just got to be careful. You gotta do what you're trained to do. Try to make good decisions."
National numbers show the most deadly calls for police are traffic stops not domestic violence calls. FBI numbers from last year show there were 41 officers nationwide killed in the line of duty only three of those were domestic violence shootings.