Black and white photo of woman in background huddled in a corner with the open hand of a man in the foreground.
Victims of domestic violence perpetrated by a member of law enforcement face a particularly difficult journey to safety.

The first step is reporting the violence. The law enforcement community is very tightly knit, almost like a family, so the report is going to be made to a person who may very well be a friend of the perpetrator, making many victims less likely to file a report. Should the report be made and taken, the ensuing process strongly favors the cop, who knows the system, and how best to work it. Often, police who are found guilty of domestic abuse are retained on the force.

Since her abuser is usually armed, she is also more likely to become a victim of homicide.

Compared to homes without guns, the presence of guns in the home is associated with a 3-fold increased homicide risk within the home. The risk connected to gun ownership increases to 8-fold when the offender is an intimate partner or relative of the victim and is 20 times higher when previous domestic violence exists.
According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress:
Every day in the United States, five women are murdered with guns. Many of these fatal shootings occur in the context of a domestic or intimate partner relationship. However, women are not the only victims. Shooters have often made children, police officers, and their broader communities additional targets of what begins as an intimate partner shooting. In fact, one study found that more than half of the mass shootings in recent years have started with or involved the shooting of an intimate partner or a family member.
Making the victim even more vulnerable is the fact that the police know the location of every battered women’s shelter in the local area. Estimates are that 40 percent of police families suffer domestic abuse and that the spouse of a police officer is two to four times more likely to suffer abuse than is the spouse of a civilian.

When the former girlfriend of Jeremy Yachik reported the abuse of his daughter to his boss, Berthoud Police Chief Glenn Johnson, she included a video of the cop kicking his daughter. No action was taken and Yachik apparently taunted her later, “Nice try … trying to get me fired …. It’s not going to work.” As a result of the abuse and the refusal to investigate it, the Berthoud Police Department was eventually dismantled by the city and law enforcement responsibility was assumed by Larimer County.

The former girlfriend persisted however, and the Loveland Police Department investigated and charged Officer Yachik. He pled guilty to a single Class 2 misdemeanor child abuse charge and was given three years probation and 30 days in a work release program (Apparently Colorado allows upgrades similar to those written about here.)

The same Loveland Police Department that investigated the charges against Officer Yachik briefly attempted to shield the identity of an officer within its own ranks who was arrested in May, on suspicion of third-degree assault and class-1 child abuse (both misdemeanors), accompanied by a domestic violence enhancer.

Rob Croner, a former Marine, was a K-9 handler for the Loveland Police and “is one of the most prominent public faces in the Loveland PD, having been featured in a slew of articles and broadcast reports. One piece even includes the names of his kids.” Only when pressed did the department release his name, claiming concern for the victims of the abuse.

As a result of his actions, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Alejandro Flores has been placed on administrative leave after being arrested on Monday by the Buena Park Police Department on:

… multiple charges of domestic battery, aggravated assault, dissuading a witness, criminal threats, false imprisonment and assault likely to produce great bodily harm, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.
In addition to being alleged domestic abusers and cops, the three men also share a striking physical similarity. Photos of Alejandro Flores, Jeremy Yachik and Rob Croner show big beefy men with thick necks and close-cropped hair. All three remind me of storm troopers, of thugs, when thugs were the enforcers for the Mafia. Most striking is the transformation of Rob Croner, as shown in photos from 2009 to 2013.

It is possible, of course, that all three acquired their beefed up appearance by spending hours every day at the gym, but the increasing availability of anabolic steriods and testosterone supplements provide a much easier means of achieving those ends. Anabolic steroid abusehas been a growing concern of police departments across the country for a long time.

Collection of vials of anabolic steroids
Phoenix was the first to set up what became a model program of random testing for steroid abuse in 2006. The program was shut down last year with little fanfare, due to the high cost of the tests, said department administrators, as well as results that included legally acquired prescription medications like testosterone.

As report after report after report of police officers using steroids builds, our police departments seem unable to address the problem, which has been estimated to affect 25 percent of police officers:

“There’s no real way to stem the tide, so to speak, as far as access to steroids, and there’s no prospect in the near future that use of them is going to decline,” said Dr. Harrison G. Pope, director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at Harvard’s McLean Hospital.”We are going to continue to see its use with law-enforcement officers,” he said.
If professional sports can work to control the use of steroids by their players, I don’t understand why police departments can’t. Saying that it is too difficult or too expensive doesn’t cut it. ‘Roid rage is no myth, and these officers are on our streets, fully armed. They go home to spouses and children who are defenseless against the mood swings and aggression of anabolic steroid abusers. And they go home armed.

Is it too much to ask that we make sure that the men charged with enforcing the law are adhering to it? Perhaps the answer will come when lawsuits are brought against police departments, and the cities they protect, by the victims of abusive cops who are juiced up on steroids.