PENDLETON – Law enforcement officers observe an uptick in cases of domestic violence during the holiday season. Pendleton Police Chief Chuck Byram says those are difficult cases to investigate.
“It’s really hard for our officers to navigate that,” he said. “It’s also a dangerous situation for our officers to navigate and a dangerous situation for the people inside the dynamic because emotions run really high.”
Byram pointed out that police are often looked at as intruders when an argument between loved ones become violent.
“We have to investigate those things very thoroughly and it’s hard for our officers sometimes to step into the middle of a family dynamic like that,” he said.
Byram said that officers with less experience are helped by more seasoned officers in those cases. One thing that is important to remember is that police are required by the state of Oregon to make an arrest if a suspect passes certain limits.
“In Oregon, there’s a mandatory arrest statute,” he said. “If there are certain thresholds met during the course of a law enforcement, they shall arrest. Not ‘may,’ ‘shall.’ If they don’t, they’re violating their oath. It’s a very serious issue and it’s always a two-officer response.”