Governor Hutchinson signs domestic violence bill

Governor Hutchinson signs domestic violence bill

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas law enforcement officers will have a new protocol to follow when responding to domestic violence calls.

Governor Asa Hutchinson recently signed a bill titled "Laura's Law" requiring officers to assess the risk of a domestic violence victim dying as a result of an attack, as well as information on where they can get help.

The law is named after Laura Webb, a domestic violence survivor who was nearly killed by her husband.

Detective Jamie White with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office said last year nearly 10% of their domestic violence calls were felony cases.

White said those are cases in which the victim has serious physical injury or there were death threats.

Currently, the sheriff's office works closely with judges and the court system on domestic violence cases.

"We rely heavily on that to make sure there is no contact between the 2 after the event has happened," White said.

White believes this new bill will not only be beneficial to victims, but to law enforcement officers as well.

"It will be another tool we'll have at our disposal to ensure that victims in these cases don't meet with future violence," White said. "It's going to help us help them with information on how to get out of those bad situations."

White said it is common for domestic violence offenders to repeat the behavior.

The sheriff's office is working to implement the new set of rules by creating a packet that contains information about where victim's can get help.

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.