Chief James McIntyre
47 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180-2044
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Stoneham Police Sergeant Completes Strangulation Training to Help Victims of Domestic Violence
STONEHAM — Chief James McIntyre announces that Stoneham Police Sgt. David Thistle recently completed domestic violence training and was involved in the making of a mannequin-style video to draw attention to one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence.
Sgt. Thistle, along with Assistant Middlesex District Attorney Emily Jackson and Executive Director Jessica Brayden from RESPOND Inc., were selected to join 63 other participants at the Strangulation Training Institute’s Advanced Strangulation Training program in Fort Worth, Texas this past October.
In a video posted on Dec. 14, RESPOND Inc. and the Stoneham Police Department collaborated to raise awareness about strangulation through a mannequin challenge — a viral video trend in which participants remain still, like mannequins, while the camera pans across a scene.
Strangulation is the second leading cause of death for victims of domestic violence, second only to firearms. Victims that have been strangled by their partner and survived are 800 percent more likely to become a homicide victim by the same partner. Conducted by nationally recognized experts in the field of domestic violence and strangulation, including medical doctors, law enforcement, and prosecutors, the course placed an emphasis on cross discipline collaboration.
Sgt. Thistle is the first police officer from Massachusetts to attend this advanced training. The opportunity to attend was made possible by a generous donation from StonehamBank.
“Within a week of returning from this training, I was almost immediately able to articulate in a report about the effects of strangulation and then subsequently testify in court about the magnitude of the injuries that a victim received from their significant other,” Sgt. Thistle said. “As a direct result of attending this class, I was able to charge the defendant with a felony offense, as opposed to a misdemeanor, and explain the seriousness of their actions to the court.”
About RESPOND, Inc.
RESPOND, Inc., New England’s first domestic violence agency and the second oldest in the nation, reaches over 10,000 survivors of domestic violence each year through free, confidential community and shelter-based services. RESPOND is based in Somerville and serves communities throughout Greater Boston and beyond with a special emphasis on Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Somerville, Cambridge, Stoneham, Wakefield, Winchester and Woburn. Programs and services include an emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline, individual and group counseling, legal advocacy, community outreach, housing assistance and educational programs. Services are provided in multiple languages. For assistance, please call RESPOND’s 24-hour hotline at 617-623-5900. For more information on volunteering or to make a donation please call 617-625-5996 or visit www.respondinc.org.