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San Diego District Attorney agrees that police training video contained unverifiable statistics about abused women

The National Coalition For Men (NCFM) after being asked to review a new police training video sent a letter to the San Diego District Attorney showing that the video contained wrong and gender biased information, that is it was biased against men and perpetuated information detrimental to the community and police.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick McGrath found that there were unverifiable statistics and agreed to have the video appropriately edited and re issued. He will be asking that the nine San Diego County police departments and Sheriff’s Office replace the first version with the second on departmental Intranets as well as for use in other trainings. Though not stated in the letter from Mr. McGrath we earlier and subsequently agreed that he would do the same for all other community based agencies involved in the production of the video including the San Diego Domestic Violence Council (the largest DV Council in the United States).

We believe this is the first time a law enforcement agency within the United States agreed that information contained in a domestic violence police training video was wrong and took affirmative and costly steps to correct it.

In conversations Mr. McGrath noted several times that people within the district attorney’s office involved in the revisions and related discussions have changed some of their views regarding gender roles within the domestic violence dynamic.I suspect Mr. McGrath’s letter along with the revised video to the nine police departments, Sheriff’s department, and other involved agencies will have a similar though lesser effect.

Without completely re doing the video all of the concerns listed in our initial letter could not be adequately addressed. The revised edition still creates an unbalanced impression concerning perpetrators and victims. However, coupled with the increased awareness of those involved in the production of the video and the deletion of unverifiable statistics this effort is a success for all of us.

In his letter Mr. McGrath says, “I like to think that we are open to constructive criticism, and are flexible enough to find a way to solve problems.” I like to think that is true too.

Mr. McGrath deserves a great deal of thanks for his willingness to help and leadership, as should all of those who helped construct the initial letter and San Diego County employees involved in helping revise the video.

This effort has led to other opportunities, if time can be found to fully participate, including being invited to join in the development of a survey of local domestic violence shelters; also a domestic violence training video for the medical community and revision of domestic violence protocols.

If we can do it in San Diego, it’s doable elsewhere. Give that some thought please…

Harry  Crouch

Founder/Director California Men’s Centers

President National Coalition For Men

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