Domestic violence calls pose biggest danger for police

UNIONTOWN, OH (WOIO) - Domestic violence calls are the most dangerous calls police officers respond to every single day on the job.

Officers never know how dangerous the situation they're walking into is going to be.

"A peaceful situation can turn violent and deadly in a second," said Uniontown Police Sgt. Nathan Weidman.

Sunday night, Uniontown Police Sgt. David White was shot four times while responding to a domestic violence call. It's a situation his fellow officer Sgt. Weidman said they always have to be ready for.

According to the FBI, last year seven officers were killed responding to domestic disturbance calls. It's a growing trend and, for an officer, it's the most dangerous call that comes in.

"It's already violent and they call us to diffuse the situation and sometimes that's not possible," Sgt. Weidman said.

Sgt. Weidman calls domestic violence a control issue.

"They already realize that we are coming to take that control and then it becomes a fight before we even arrive," he said.

The suspect normally knows police are on the way, so they have time to prepare, which could mean grabbing a gun. Often, the person has been drinking or doing drugs.

They're factors that make an officer's job even more dangerous, but Sgt. Weidman said officers are trained to fight through it.

"People call us at their worst and they expect us to be there no matter what the call is. No matter what the problem is, we have to go there and fix it," he said. "We just have to do what we do and worry about the things later."

Because domestic violence calls are so dangerous, in most cases, at least two officers respond.

Sgt. White was the first Uniontown officer to be shot in the line of duty. It wasn't the first time he'd responded to domestic violence calls at that home.

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