Officer Arrested for Domestic Violence
Joe Garcia, with the VIA Metropolitan Transit Police Department, was arrested on Wednesday for Assault Bodily Injury – Family Member. The assault occurred on the north side. Garcia was arrested and released on a $3,500 bond. According to the KSAT 12 article, VIA Transit police released the following statement,
“A VIA Transit Police officer has been suspended following his arrest related to a domestic disturbance on Wednesday, January 8. The officer was not on duty at the time. SAPD and VIA Transit Police are conducting an investigation. The officer has been employed at VIA since February 2018. Pending the outcome of the investigation, this employee faces disciplinary action up to and including termination.”
Officers Have a Family Violence Problem
Most places you look for information will tell you that 40% off officers will engage in family abuse. Those numbers come from two studies done in the 1990s. While I have some reservations with the framing of the studies, there is no doubt that family violence is high in the law enforcement community. And the families involved are at much more of a risk than the average family.
Officers have the means to track down spouses who try to flee to safety. They know how to use the resources of their agency to find where there wife and family went. They know where the battered women’s shelters are located. Quite often they will have friends who will help them find their wife. And they know how the system works which allows them to game the system to their advantage, throwing doubt on what the wife says.
Agencies Need to Step Up
Law enforcement agencies are well-aware of this situation, yet they aren’t doing much to address it. The programs and training on domestic violence are geared towards people outside of the system, not those who work in law enforcement. You would think that the officers would realize it applies to them also but officers don’t readily equate themselves with criminals. This is why agencies need training that is specifically aimed at law enforcement personnel.
Law enforcement agencies train officers to fight, to take down violent people, to protect themselves. You can’t, as an agency, hype up a person’s violence quotient then expect the officers to hit some magical off button when they get angry with a family member. Sure, a lot will have that kind of control but a large amount won’t and their families will pay for what the agencies helped to create.