Local News

Pitt County Offers Seminar to Keeps Cops Safe

Posted July 21, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Domestic violence calls are some of the most dangerous officers must respond to. Law enforcers must figure out how to deal with the situation before they confront it. There are a lot of elements involved in the officer's training and one of the most important is a class that teaches officers different ways to approach domestic situations.

The primary objective is to calm a domestic dispute, but often it's the peace officer who becomes the victim.

LT. Kenny Williams has served Cary for 11 years. He says he has seen these often tense situations take a dangerous turn.

Williams says training is the key to survival. Officers in Cary, he says, prepare for the unthinkable by role playing in various hypothetical domestic situations.

State troopers learn how to diffuse arguments by helping those involved to use words instead of violence. Renee Hoffman of the North Carolina Highway Patrol says the important thing is to encourage everyone to calm down.

Ending a situation in peace helps ensure safety not just for those involved in the dispute, but also the officers who are there to help.

In the wake of Sharpsburg Police Chief Wayne Hathaway's death last Friday, Pitt County will host a two-day domestic violence conference for law enforcement officers across the state. Police hope the conference, which begins Tuesday, will help officers to be more safe and effective when responding to domestic violence calls.