Domestic Violence Investigations

About Investigations

The West Orange Police Department recognizes that the nature and seriousness of crimes and offenses committed between family or household members are not mitigated solely because of the relationships or living arrangements of those involved. Further, domestic violence investigations require additional measures to provide victims of domestic violence with information, protection, and timely referral to social services. Domestic violence investigations require a comprehensive approach from initial contact to case closure. Both victims and actors must be fully informed of the criminal and civil nature of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. Learn more about domestic violence.

Investigation Guidelines

It is the policy of this department to investigate acts of Domestic Violence in comportment with New Jersey state statue, attorney general's guidelines, and the guidelines of the Essex County prosecutor. It is also the policy of this department to provide comprehensive investigation and interdiction in domestic violence related cases. All investigations in these matters will be under the direction of the department's domestic violence coordinator.

Initial Investigation

The initial investigation of domestic violence cases is generally a patrol function. The need for a rapid response and intervention is crucial in the initial investigation, but victims of domestic violence need special support not ordinarily offered by a criminal justice agency after the initial contact.


The West Orange Police Department is committed to doing everything within its power to break the cycle of domestic violence. Domestic violence cases may involve a follow-up investigation due to a variety of reasons. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Child custody issues
  • Criminal issues arising from the investigation
  • Stalking
  • Violation of restraining orders


At a minimum, all victims of domestic violence will be offered the support of the various social agencies empowered to assist in these matters. The West Orange Police Department has a domestic violence coordinator whose duties include, but is not limited to:

  • Reviewing all domestic violence investigations initiated with the department to ensure that the investigations are complete and accurate, including, but not limited to any incident reports, victim, defendant, or witness statements, arrest reports, and evidence or property reports
  • Contacting all victims of domestic violence, regardless of the nature of precipitating offense, to offer this agency's support and any appropriate social referrals
  • Keeping all victims of domestic violence informed of the case status as per the attorney general guidelines on victim notification
  • Conducting any follow-up investigations pertaining to domestic violence cases

Join the Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) The W.O. Police Department is seeking additional volunteers to join the Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT). Applicants are required to complete a forty hour training. Once on the team, a commitment of two 12 hour shifts per month is expected. Team members meet with victims at Police Headquarters and offer support such as referrals to shelters, counseling programs, legal assistance and more. For additional information about the Team, please call (973) 325-4105.