D.C. Police Chief Larry D. Soulsby has promised to fire any police officer who has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of domestic abuse. Soulsby, along with hundreds of police chiefs across the nation, is preparing to enforce the federal Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. This law went into effect on September 30, 1996, and prohibits convicted domestic abusers from possessing firearms or ammunition. The ban applies police and military officers as well as to the general public.
Soulsby also will examine police records, court files and personnel records to identify other officers that have been accused of domestic abuse but were not charged or were acquitted. Soulsby may weed out some of these officers as well, depending on the particular circumstances of each case. “Domestic violence is one of our worst behavioral problems,” said Soulsby. “Officers are paid to keep the peace, and some of them can’t keep it in their own households. We can’t have that kind of behavior. It’s illegal, it’s inappropriate and it’s unprofessional. We’re going to stop it.”
Eighteen D.C. officers are currently on administrative leave for domestic violence incidents and at least 100 officers have been accused of domestic violence in the past.