JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
Anyone can benefit from learning behavioral cues, but recognizing the signs of domestic violence and the actions to take can be critical for law enforcement when in dangerous situations. Domestic Violence Intervention Training at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, delved deep into providing these advanced training strategies for civilian and military officers, May 23-28.
“Nearly 90 percent of the time, we go out on not necessarily good calls, and you don’t always know what you are going to fall into,” said Noah Beaver, 733d Security Forces Squadron officer. “As a police officer or first responder, this kind of training gives a voice for prevention and with this kind of knowledge you have keys to show you things to look out for.”
The DVIT course is a 40-hour military course provided to law enforcement or interagency first responders. The sphere of the behavioral sciences is the focus, intending to strengthen how officers can better approach complex and dangerous domestic incidents.
To U.S. Army Maj. Christopher Ruggles, 733d SFS operations officer, this is the first in-person training since COVID restrictions at JBLE, and regional law enforcement were invited to join.
“Typically we try to send military police and our Air Force civilian police to these trainings, and at JBLE we can optionally host and coordinate training at the installation,” he said.
In addition to personnel from JBLE, members with the Naval Station Norfolk Police Department and the Washington Criminal Investigation Battalion participated in the course.
DVIT focuses on effective intervention and investigation of family dysfunctional incidents utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, along with emphasizing protection of the victim and returning of the family to a healthy state. Subjects include aspects of intervention, neurobiology of trauma, and effects of domestic violence on children. Conflict resolution and communication skills are emphasized, including techniques in assessing, de-escalation, and calming utilized in domestic violence situations.
“We have always trained the law enforcement of our sister services; it brings different perspectives into the training,” said Elizabeth Bailey, DVIT course manager. “Even though the Department of Defense gives the base of instruction on how the responses are, the different branches also bring in different perspectives.”
Bailey and the DVIT Mobile Training Team are based at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, a part of the U.S. Army’s Behavioral Science and Education and Training Division, U.S. Military Police School.
“The subject matter experts that teach this course specifically deal with this line of domestic abuse,” Beaver said. “I’ve seen videos and had conversations I haven’t had in other classes and it hurts to watch it but it’s important for your readiness.”
The training was also open to criminal investigators, victim advocates, emergency first responders and counselors across the region.
U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms 3 Barrera, Naval Station Norfolk Security Department, discussed how the training dealt with more than just the victims.
“I am definitely learning a lot about how domestic violence affects people other than just the direct victims,” said Barrera. “It can also affect the officers and how they respond to the calls, how what happened in childhood affects others and will affect children or spouses, family or friends.”
Bailey expressed hope the intense training will have the intended benefit.
“If this course helps at least one student with different tactics and techniques and abilities to communicate and de-escalate, either professionally or personally, then it’s all worth it,” she said.
For more information about DVIT or to schedule a class, contact Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the U.S. Army Behavioral Health and Sciences Education and Training Division at https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/units-tenants/USAMPS/MPOrganizations/directorate-training-education/behavioral-sciences-education-and-training-division