'Domestic Violence High Risk' program trains officers to ask questions when responding to domestic incidents
Newly obtained bodycam footage showing Gabby Petito tell police in Utah her fiancé Brian Laundrie hit her is getting scrutinized for how police missed the signs of domestic violence.
The video shows Petito claiming Laundrie grabbed her face. Petito admits she hit Laundrie as well, but domestic abuse victims' advocates say police badly missed signs Gabby was in danger.
No arrests were made, and over a month later her body was found and her death was ruled a homicide.
It's incidents like this that police across Westchester are now training for.
The 'Domestic Violence High Risk' program involves teaching officers a series of questions to ask victims when responding to a domestic incident.
Experts who lead this program say the Petito case may have ended differently if police in Moab, Utah got this training as well.
"If they asked the 12 questions slowly, removing her from his view, I think they would've seen she was at high risk," says Nancy Tunis, program coordinator of Domestic Violence High-Risk Training.
Victims identified as 'high risk' are referred to counselors for their protection.
With this training, New Rochelle police responded to hundreds of domestic calls this year, filing 100 reports of possible violence. Eight of them required victim assistance.
The Justice Department awarded Westchester's Office for Women $1 million dollars to continue expanding the program over the next four years.