Oct 24, 2011 7:23 PM by Melissa Hawkes
When it comes to domestic violence fatalities, Louisiana is one of the leading states. St. Mary Parish officials are helping lead the way to educate officers about how to handle these sometimes deadly situations.
Sheriff Mark Hebert said, "it's a lot bigger than people understand it to be. Most of the time when we respond to domestic complaints, it's in regards to domestic violence in one sort or another."
Hebert said too often domestic violence ends in tragedy and he wants to help officers statewide learn how to deal with offenders. It's the focus of a National Sheriffs Association seminar in St. Mary Parish.
Micheal LaRiviere with the National Sheriff's Association said, "it's the dynamics of domestic violence because it's something we need to understand to better do our jobs."
It's not just up to officers on the streets, it's just as important for dispatchers to know how to talk people through these dangerous situations.
"You have to disseminate that information in regards into what may or not be taking place and get that information to the deputies that respond," Hebert said.
Executive Director for the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Beth Meeks, said, "only thing that's proven time and time again to reduce homicides is when officers make arrests and when those arrests result in the monitoring of the offender by the courts."
Even though domestic violence is nothing new, officials say the methods to successfully intervene in a dispute is constantly evolving.
LaRiviere said, "these are some of the most dangerous offenders in the country."
Law enforcement officers said they are seeing offenders act out more in public places and putting innocent people at risk. Their advice is to always be cautious.
You can call the Louisiana Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (888) 411-1333 to report domestic abuse.