The Police Chief Update
January Issue  
Domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and related crimes are not easy for law enforcement to identify, investigate, or prosecute. Nonetheless, they are pervasive issues in society, as evidenced in recent dialogue about professional athletes, the U.S. military, universities, and test backlogs. Law enforcement can benefit from a better understanding of what those crimes look like, who the victims are, and, perhaps most importantly, how to respond to those of victims of trauma in a way that both meets their needs and allows for a successful case against the offender. Understanding the science of trauma and relevant risk factors can start law enforcement on the right path in responding to these crimes.


As law enforcement seeks to ramp up its effectiveness in sexual assault investigations, it can draw from a substantial body of scientific research on both sexual victimization and sexual offending. This research yields direct applications for law enforcement by addressing the importance of treating victims with respect and compassion, the nature of trauma and its implications for victim interviews, and the dynamics of sexual offending.

Most law enforcement professionals know that intimate partner violence and sexual assault investigations can be the most challenging cases they will work during their careers. However, while law enforcement has gotten better at recognizing, understanding, and prosecuting these crimes in the heterosexual community, this is not necessarily the case in the LGBTQ community in which both the same challenges and additional ones may exist.

Stalking is often minimized, dismissed, or ignored by the criminal justice system despite the fact that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men in the United States are stalked in their lifetimes. Multiple factors often lead to stalking behaviors being charged as lesser crimes or offenders being offered generous plea deals; however, a new web-based tool may be able to change that. The Stalking and Harassment and Risk Profile (SHARP) has been created to facilitate the assessment of stalking and to help address some of the challenges stalking crimes present.

Join IBM Technical Sales Specialist (and veteran crime analyst) Erica Reuter for a special on-demand webinar, where she’ll discuss the latest predictive analytics technology—and what it can do today that wasn’t possible just a few years ago.


Presidential Focus: Going Dark and the Challenges of Gathering Electronic Evidence

Increasing Efficiency and Service: The Centralization of the Toronto Police Service

Pan/Parapan Am Games Traffic Planning and Execution

Access the Latest Tools in This Month’s Police Chief Magazine

Listen in as IBM Technical Sales Specialist (and former crime analyst) Erica Reuter explains why real-life intelligence-led policing isn’t like what you see on TV. And learn what the latest predictive analytics technology can do. Listen now.

Discover Policing Career Center is the official job board of the IACP and a nationwide police recruitment resource. Visit for more information.

Township of Cumru, Mohnton, PA

Hagerstown Police Department, MD

City of Stafford, Texas

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