Sheriff Donald F Eslinger
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His anger, over time has become more violent until one evening something sets him off. He is out of control and hits you in the face. Maybe it is the neighbor who calls or a family member who is hiding in a back room. But it does not matter to you because what seems like a lifetime, only takes a few minutes before you hear the knock at your front door. There is no mistaking the commanding voice on the other side of the door demanding that someone come to the door. The sound of that voice is enough to calm your husband down and for the moment you feel safe. There is someone here to protect you, someone who will make sure that the man that you married will stop hurting you and scaring your children.

You go to the door and to your horror the officers at the door work for the same agency that your husband works for. The strange thing is that the officers are mainly Command Officers not your regular patrol officers. It gets worse, several of the officers work under your husband. His rank is higher than theirs. Even though the injury to your face is obvious the officers seem more concerned for the well being of your husband.

You are separated and they move you to a different room in the house. A couple of the officers who you know seem to be concerned. They offer to get you something to drink. They tell you to go to the bathroom, freshen up and try to calm down. You do as they suggest and the nightmare begins. They listen to your story but do not ask any detailed questions. It appears they do not want to hear your side of the story. They steer your recollection away from the physical attack committed by your husband and begin to paint a picture of what will happen if you go through with your story.

They tell you your husband will be demoted or may even be fired from his job, his retirement will be taken from him and you will get nothing. They promise he will be given anger management counseling and they will monitor the situation very closely. They have warned him and he knows what he did was wrong. Your husband has promised them that this will never happen again. They tell you that you are all a family and that you keep ugly things like this inside of the family, the outside public does not need to hear this messy stuff. They warn you that their boss does not like bad publicity and it will not look good for your husband.

The conversation turns ugly when you demand his arrest. They advise you according to your husband you were the one who started the physical attack. He is a trained law enforcement officer, highly respected and known in the community. He is a personal friend of the boss. They even share a hobby together. You are advised that if you push the matter you might be the one who goes to jail. After all it is your word against his.

You just want the nightmare to end. You tell them it was all a misunderstanding. You see, you fell down and hit your face. They clear the house. You watch your husband walk outside with the officers. From where you are standing it appears as if they are all joking around. There is a lot of hand shaking going on, pats on the back and peace returns to the neighborhood, but not to your home. As time goes by things get worse which results in a divorce. You leave the area because you know it is not safe where you live. After all who do you call for help?

The above story is written without identifying the victim, her husband or the Law Enforcement Agency involved. For everyone involved you know who I am writing about. You have watched this man continue in his career and you know that if you had done your job that night things would have ended differently. He should have gone to jail and treated like every other coward who strikes a woman. But you feared for your job, your retirement and being blackballed in the law enforcement community. You were rewarded for your silence, as time has gone by you too were promoted or transferred to a sweet job with great perks. You may have even convinced yourself that it never even happened. After all most of the records are????

The above story has been repeated several times over the years and continues to this day. I am asking for your help. If you are the spouse of a law enforcement officer or a family member or a neighbor who suspects that domestic violence is taking place, or a law enforcement officer who can no longer live with what you know, please contact me and I will get you in touch with people who can help.

I have contacted a local reporter who is willing to do a story on this problem. But they need the truth that only you can provide. Your story is too important to go untold. Your courage might be what is needed for others to share their pain and put an end to this “private matter”.

What are you going to say when the violence gets so bad, and you knew you could have stopped it?

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
-Edmund Burke