New State Domestic Violence Database allows police across the New York State to share information about domestic violence incidents
A new state database will allow police statewide to search domestic violence incident information, regardless of which police agency responded to a call or filed a report. This database is designed to give responding officers the full picture of a victim, perpetrator or household’s domestic violence history.
Through this database, we hope to assist police and victims by recording details related to prior calls involving the same individual, including each incident of violence or other risk factors such as the presence of firearms. We’re giving police, prosecutors, and probation and parole officers the ability to search the more than 175,000 domestic violence incident reports each year.
Previously, paper incident reports were filed within police agencies and counties, and approximately 780 a day are then sent to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services, where they often wind up in boxes in storage. These reports will be scanned into a database to help track patterns of abusive behavior and hopefully stop it before it recurs.
This information will be available on the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services website (http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/index.htm). According to DCJS, authorized users will be able to search the secure, electronic database by victim or offender name, incident address or document number. Police dispatchers also will be able to use the system to advise responding officers about potential threats and history of incidents at an address, giving officers an opportunity to determine the best way to staff and handle a call for help.
An example of the “New York State Domestic Incident Report (DIR) Repository” data can be found here: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/pio/dir-rep-screens/dir-sample.html.
New York set up the system with a federal grant but officials plan to continue entering the estimated 175,000 domestic incident reports filed annually across upstate New York and Long Island. At present, the database isn’t available to the public.