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By Cari Hachmann
A report released by the Department of Defense (DoD) on April 19 found that military law enforcement personnel and commanders were largely non compliant with DoD policies when it came to responding to (nonsexual) domestic violence incidents involving adult victims on base.
The DoD evaluated 219 domestic violence incidents between the years of 2014 and 2016 on eight different military installations, including Camp Pendleton.
Of those incidents, the report stated military law enforcement did not consistently process 62 crime scenes, failed to conduct 148 thorough interviews, failed to notify its Family Advocacy Program in 49 domestic violence incidents and, in 180 cases, did not submit criminal history data to the Defense Central Index of Investigations (DCII), the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) and the Defense Forensics Science Center.
Of the 219 incidents, there were 47 reports analyzed from Camp Pendleton’s Marine Corps Base installation law enforcement.
Factors contributing to noncompliance included military service commanders instructing law enforcement personnel to implement practices inconsistent with DoD policies, and a lack of supervisory oversight and review.
“If Military Service law enforcement personnel do not thoroughly investigate and document their response to domestic violence incidents, decision makers, such as commanders and prosecutors, will not have the necessary information to make informed disciplinary or prosecutorial decisions. Further, these deficiencies could hinder criminal investigations, impact law enforcement and national security interests, and expose victims to additional harm,” the report said.
The DoD recommended the secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force take various prompt actions. The eight military installations included Camp Pendleton; Naval Base San Diego; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Joint Base Andrews, Md.; Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulf Port. Miss.; U.S. Army Fort Bragg, N.C.; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.; and U.S. Army Installation Fort Belvoir, Va.
WHAT’S NEXT: The full report is available at a link in this article online.—CH