by Ian D Scofield
At approximately 0517 hours on New Year’s Eve Deputies from Douglas County Sheriff in Colorado responded to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment building outside of Denver. It was their second call to that apartment building that night.
When officers arrived for the second time, they were let into the apartment by a roommate who had concerns for their roommate possibly having a mental breakdown. Before anything could happen officers sent out the reporting party so he could get to safety.
While clearing the apartment they found the suspect, Riehl was discovered to be barricaded in his bedroom. The suspect opened fire on deputies and during a shootout a number of deputies were injured and one was killed. Eventually the suspect was also killed.
Riehl had no criminal record that has been reported but multiple agencies had had passed dealings with him.
This shooting was a terrible way to end a year that has had multiple mass shootings and terrorist attacks. The condolences of everyone at APTI go out to the Douglas County Sheriffs Department and the family of Deputy Zackari Parrish. We also wish the injured officers a speedy recovery.
Let’s take a moment to analyze four things that you should always remember to keep in mind when responding to domestic disturbance calls. We aren’t going to talk about state specific things like the requirements that one person go to jail. Instead we are going to look at this at a broader level. Keep reading and you’ll find out.
During your career you will respond to a number of dangerous calls. Domestic disturbance calls will be among the most dangerous because you never know what to expect. For example, many times the victim will not want the offender to go to jail. They might even decide to fight when they realize that the offender is going to go to jail.
You can also run into incidents like the one that happened on New Years Eve 2017 where officers responded to find Riehl already barricaded and ready for them. If an offender knows that 9-1-1 has been called and they don’t want to go to jail they are more than likely going to be ready to fight.
Not all calls are as straight forward as you want them to be. Domestic disturbance calls are a great example of that. When you arrive on scene you will often find multiple parties agitated and determining which party is the aggressor can sometimes be difficult. It is further compounded by the fact that often times these calls are shrouded in lies from one or both parties.
Responding to a domestic disturbance call? Make sure that your head is on a swivel. Not only are these calls dangerous and sometimes confusing, they can also surprise you. Make sure that you never let your guard down.
It is never a good idea to let your guard down, but you should be extra guarded when you are on dangerous and confusing calls.
There tends to be a stereotype that all domestic violence calls have the woman as the victim and the male as the suspect. In today’s world that isn’t always true. Women can just as easily be the aggressor during a domestic violence call. Don’t go into a call with any prejudgments.
Further confusing potential situations is LGBTQ relationships that officers might simply not be used to. It is always advisable that you become accustom with cultural, sexual, and other identities to not only be polite but to make your job easier.
Domestic disturbance calls are ones that you never want to get because of how complicated they can be. If you do get one though, make sure that you stay safe.
About The Author:
Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content. Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.
Did you just get a job as a law enforcement officer or are you trying to get one?
Law enforcement is a very rewarding career, one that can enhance your life and benefit you greatly. Preparing for a job in law enforcement shares some similarities to other careers. At the same time it has unique challenges to overcome.
Let’s take a moment to examine how you can prepare for a job as a law enforcement officer.