NAMPA -- There's new training for the Nampa Police Department which they say will save lives.
At the Nampa dispatch center, dispatchers handle all types of calls including dozens of domestic violence calls every day. Some of those involve attempted strangulation, a felony in Idaho. But police say the majority of attempted strangulations don't leave visible signs, like bruising, even though they may cause serious internal injuries, so some abusers aren't caught.
The National Family Justice Center Alliance says 10 percent of the women killed each year in Idaho by their partners are strangled to death. Research shows half of all domestic homicide victims were strangled at least once before they were murdered.
That's where this new training comes in. The people who put the program together say men who choke women are the same men who kill women.
"This training is absolutely homicide prevention," said Chief Craig Kingsbury with Nampa Police.
That's why recognizing attempted strangulation is so important, and why Chief Kingsbury has required all of his officers to take an online training course to help them recognize the non-visible signs of attempted strangulation.
"Officers can listen to the sound of the voice of the individual they're talking to. Does it sound scratchy? Does it sound different?" said Kingsbury. "This training will teach you how to ask certain questions. [Ask about] things that would be signs of losing consciousness, things that could be signs of strangulation."
Kingsbury says this will help officers put the most dangerous abusers in prison, hold them accountable, and potentially prevent murder. "There's no reason that every chief and sheriff, in my opinion, shouldn't have their officers do this."
Kingsbury says other staff in the department, like dispatchers and those at the front desk, also took the training. He says they might also be in a situation where they can see those critical signs, ask those critical questions, and maybe save a life.
This training course is part of an initiative from the National Family Justice Center Alliance. There is a Nampa Family Justice Center, which helps victims of domestic violence.