The transformation from
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An inside look at best practices at
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Law Enforcement

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Law Enforcement - Stephanie Catala

Stephanie Catala
46th Precinct

Home visits

I thought I could make a bit of a difference joining, and everything. I really like helping people and I thought that would be a way to make a little bit of a difference; I know I’m not going to change the world, but any bit I think helps…In this precinct we get a lot of domestic incident reports. So we have to input them into the system, you know make sure they generate a number. We take care of that, we do a lot of home visits, which is required by the state, mandated, to check up on the victims, make sure they’re ok.

A lot of the times, if we see a report that is open we go and call the victim and see if we can make an arrest. We do home visits for things like a verbal dispute between a daughter and son, like maybe he was acting up, or didn’t want to go to school that day. We just check up on them. Any time we do domestic incident report. There has to be a home visit done. Just because, you never know, God forbid, something, because a little thing can turn into something major.

A repetitive cycle

It could be a little scary, and a little sad. You never know if that person is still in there, because it could be a situation where, she is you know, scared, the victim is afraid of whoever it might have been. Her husband, her boyfriend, and they might have had an argument, and maybe he hurt her or whatever, and maybe the next day they squashed everything and everything is ok. And he could be back in that location, we don’t know that and we have to make sure and check that they are ok. And it’s also a little sad, because it’s kind of like a repetitive cycle; you came in and did the incident report, and he hurt you, and you wanted to help her, and the next day she’s just like, “oh things are fine again.” And it’s a little saddening.

A horrible situation

I know there was one situation in particular, where this husband and wife, I guess he had been abusing her for a very long time. And she wasn’t a legal citizen, so she was

afraid that….sorry…It was a good ca-it was a good…sorry I don’t mean to. Oh my God. Um. It was an ongoing thing, he was- used to beat her a lot and the last thing that happened was he basically hurt her pretty badly. It was he broke a bottle over her head, she needed stitches it was just a horrible situation. She was a very nice lady from my parents’ home country and you just, talking to them, you get kind of, I don’t know, close to them, and he had been abusing her for a very long time, and she was just scared. She didn’t want to press charges or anything. I talked to her, I explained to her that there could be things that she could do, and it was so great when she decided to. You know, some people, they go against it, and they drop the charges, and things continue, but she decided to press charges, and basically be done with the situation. Got an order of protection against him, moved some place else,. She’s doing really well. So it’s kind of nice to see. I feel like we’re only as good as the victim might want us to help her. Because if he, or she, comes in, and he or she wants to do a report and wants this person arrested and wants help and wants to seek some kind of, I guess, justice, they are going to have to want it first. Some people come in and they just want to do a report and have it documented but they don’t realize that once a report is generated usually we arrest an individual and you know it’s kind of on them if they want to proceed with everything. We can only help them as much as they let us.