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Domestic Violence Protocol

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Domestic Violence (DV) is one of the top crimes in the City of Chula Vista. It is the number two type of police call for service. Each year, there are more than 3,700  DV incidents, with about 1,200 of those incidents resulting in actual crimes.

As the second largest city in San Diego County, the City of Chula Vista services a very diverse population. Patrol officers spend thousands of hours a year responding to DV related incidents. Domestic violence devastates families and greatly affects the community, which is why the City of Chula Vista has invested staff and resources to provide services to DV victims. Victim services alone, however, is not enough. The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) is focused on reaching out to victims and offenders to stop the violence and break the cycle of abuse. 

Domestic Abuse Response Team

Between 2007-2014, reported domestic violence incidents remained steady while overall crime in the City was going down. Based on the data and after conducting a survey of all sworn personnel, it was determined that a domestic violence response protocol should be developed. The revised protocol would focus on addressing key factors:

  • DV Victim Safety and Satisfaction
  • DV Crimes
  • DV Calls
  • Officer Time

To develop an effective response, the department focused on addressing domestic disputes, domestic violence and other DV related crimes. Three successful models were researched from West Yorkshire, UK, Fremont, CA and High Point, NC. CVPD customized the approach to best fit the Chula Vista community. The end result of the research was the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) Project.  

    The DART Project focused on Sector 1 (the test area) and Sector 2 (the comparison area). These sectors were selected because they had similar characteristics. The demographics of residents and population size were similar in both sectors and both reported 400-450 DV crimes per year. When officers responded to DV related calls, they provided suspects and victims with educational handouts including a signed zero tolerance acknowledgement, and conducted follow-up visits.

    Data was collected and reviewed by an outside consultant who monitored and compared the data from both sectors to develop metrics and compare progress over five years.

    The DART Project produced very positive results as highlighted below:

    Crimes and Calls for Service (CFS)

     DV Crimes  -24%  +3%
     DV CFS  -3%  +10%

    Victim satisfaction

    Police Response SECTOR 1 SECTOR 2
     Satisfied  97%  81%
     Dissatisfied  3%  18%

    Survey conducted by South Bay Community Services

    Victim feedback

    • 88% of domestic disturbance victims said things have gotten better
    • 81% said police helped the problem
    • Only 8% said they would not call police again for help

    International Recognition

    The Chula Vista Police Department was honored as the recipient of the international 2018 Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. The Goldstein Award recognizes innovative and effective problem-oriented policing (POP) projects that have achieved measurable success in resolving recurring specific crime, disorder or public safety problems faced by police and the community.

    The DART project saved an estimated 200 hours of patrol response time and 120 hours of investigative staff time. In 2018,the project was launched across the City of Chula Vista with an emphasis on engaging with the potential offenders. 

    Domestic Violence Protocol

    Established in October 2018, the DV Protocol focuses on addressing domestic violence across the City of Chula Vista. Most people think of “domestic violence” as violence between family members. However, when we reference domestic violence in Chula Vista we are talking about incidents involving intimate partners only. Domestic violence can be a physical assault or a domestic dispute (verbal argument only).

    When patrol officers receive a DV related call or an officer responds to a DV related incident, officers determine the type of incident - domestic dispute or crime.

    All DV suspects will receive a follow-up text message within one week that notifies the subject that the Chula Vista Police Department will be checking up on him/her routinely and as needed.

    A detective from the CVPD Family Protection Unit and/or patrol officers conduct weekly, unannounced in-person follow-ups on both subjects and victims. Follow-ups are conducted at the subject’s home or work place and consist of a warning and possible arrest. If no one is home, officers will leave a “We Stopped By” card at the door, letting the involved parties know police officers are actively working to prevent the problems from reoccurring.



    The goal of the DVP is to positively impact the following: 

    • DV Victim Safety and Satisfaction
    • DV Crimes
    • DV Calls


    Stop Domestic Violence Flier

    Domestic Violence Advocates

    Information for Property Managers

    San Diego County

    Contact Us

    For more information on Chula Vista Police Department’s Domestic Violence Protocol, please contact Sergeant Donte Kendricks at .   

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