Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick called domestic violence a public health emergency last week, citing the recent spike in domestic violence homicides. The number of domestic violence homicides more than doubled from 15 in 2005 to 42 in 2007, and there have been 19 killings so far this year, according to the Associated Press.
“Everybody can and should do something to prevent domestic violence,” said Governor Patrick at a press conference, reports State House News Service. Patrick also announced a review of domestic violence data over the past three years by state health and safety officials and the strengthening of training for police officers on domestic violence and sex crimes.
Randolph, Massachusetts Chief of Police Paul Porter called policies for handling domestic violence in police departments across the state are seriously outdated, according to the Boston Globe. “We’ve really dropped off in developing our training over the years, and this will give us that boost,” he said.