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Officers Gather for Domestic Violence Training

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West Monroe, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Angry abusers could lurk inside any household and often their victims will never speak up to law enforcement for themselves.

That's what this advanced training is for.

The Family Justice Center of Ouachita Parish is providing this place at the Ouachita Rifle Range for officers from all over Northeast Louisiana, from Farmerville to Madison Parish, to receive advanced training from domestic violence consultants.

"We're talking about officer safety issues, victim safety issues, offender manipulation, how the offender manipulates the system to make the victim think it's their fault," Lt. Mark Wynn said.

Wynn  was a Tennessee domestic violence officer for 21 years and teaches this training after being a survivor himself.

"My stepfather was an alcoholic crop duster," Wynn said. "He beat my mother nearly to death several times. She had two miscarriages."

Officers also learned how to defend themselves while investigating domestic violence because when they come up and knock on the door of an angry abuser, their lives are on the line too.

"We see tens of thousands of assaults on police officers every year responding to domestic violence calls," Wynn said. "And last year we lost 13 U.S. police officers killed responding to calls."

Officer Charles Irby of the Oak Grove Police was attacked himself trying to settle a case.

"Just tussle, mainly, not with a weapon or anything, per say," Irby said. "You'll have to put 'cuffs on them and, in order to do that, you have to subdue them."

His fellow officers have been assaulted as well.

"We had two officers assaulted over this past weekend," said Irby. "Kind of slapped around and subdued and one of them actually happened inside the prison in Morehouse Parish."

Irby said 12-15% of the calls to his department are for domestic violence and this training will help him greatly.

"It'd be very beneficial for the officers because the degree of calls that you experience this type of violence on is steadily on the rise," he said.

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