Police explain the danger of responding to domestic violence calls

Girard Officer Justin Leo and the two officers in Westerville were responding to domestic calls when they were killed in the line of duty

domestic call police
File photo


SPRINGFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Police officers should handle every 911 call with extreme care, but domestic violence calls can be especially dangerous.

A domestic violence call is a very difficult response for police officers because they don’t know what to expect.

“Sometimes there’s extreme violence in them, there’s weapons involved, could be somebody under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol,” said Springfield Township Police Chief Matt Mohn.

He said taking an extra officer is important and helpful in diffusing a volatile situation. Being especially careful is a must, along with finding out about any previous calls from the same place.

There’s always two sides and two opinions. A police officer is trying to get the facts.

“There are some people, we go to these calls, that resent the police being there. They think we have no business being there because as the offender, they don’t want us protecting whoever the victim may be in that particular case,” Mohn said.

It’s a tough call, a tough situation to be in the middle of and a tough investigation.

“We’re looking for the primary aggressor in the situation,”¬†Mohn said. “Were there threats made of the injury, if there was bodily injury or harm that was caused?”

For each situation like the death of Officer Justin Leo and the two officers in Westerville, police investigate what went wrong. In each case, officers were responding to domestic calls.

“Any incident like that, we always look into it to use and pass the information down to the officers for training and to keep them aware of the situations,” Mohn said.

Training is important for domestic violence calls, but it never ends because each call is different.

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