Policy: Relationship Violence


The purpose of this policy is to provide personnel in the Michigan State University Police Department (Department) with guidelines for responding to reports of relationship violence that include: response protocols, investigation guidelines, victim support services, and collaboration with health and support service community partners.


Model Policy

In response to current state law, the Michigan State University Police Department (Department) has adopted the current State of Michigan Model Policy: The Law Enforcement Response to Domestic Violence (Model Policy) as endorsed by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board as the Department’s policy regarding relationship violence incidents.

The link to that model policy can be found on the Department’s technology page.

Enforcement Policy

It is the intention of this Department that an officer shall make an arrest in all instances where legal sufficiency is present.


MSU Safe Place

The MSU Safe Place is the lead unit managing relationship violence issues within the MSU community.

A trained staff member is available 24 hours a day.

MSU Safe Place is responsible for admitting clients who are victims of relationship violence to provide temporary assistance and shelter for up to 30 days, with extensions granted as needed.

Verbal Domestic

The term “Verbal Domestic” refers to a verbal confrontation that occurs between two or more people that are sharing or have shared a domestic relationship.

The confrontation includes: threats, emotional abuse, intimidation, child rearing or economic issues; but does not include political, religious or similar arguments.

A verbal domestic is not a crime.



Basic response protocols for special victim crimes are found INV20. That policy outlines general rules and procedures to follow in all special victim crimes. This procedure addresses the unique nature of relationship violence calls for service.

The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center will be advised of response procedures, but the Duty Supervisor should monitor the details of any relationship violence calls for service being dispatched.

Officer(s) may be called to a scene of a relationship violence incident after the subject has left the area or may not otherwise be contacted.

The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office (ICPO) has requested that efforts be made to contact an accused person before a warrant request is submitted.

If the officer is unable to make contact, the incident may be reassigned by the Investigative Division Commander or designee.

Once the investigation is complete, the report shall be submitted to ICPO using current Department protocols.

In situations of a verbal domestic, take an “Admin Info” titled report to document the verbal confrontation that occurred.

Domestic Assault Shelter (Shelter)

MSU Safe Place is responsible for admitting clients who are victims of relationship violence to provide temporary assistance and shelter for up to 30 days, with extensions granted as needed. The location of the MSU Safe Place is confidential and available only to Department members as needed.

Officers may provide courtesy transport that does not replace Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the Shelter for the victim and any children who are affected during the incident. This can occur in any of the Department’s vehicles.


Safe Place facilities are available to any student, faculty or staff person; or someone who is in any way directly related to MSU.

Capital Area Response Effort (CARE):

CARE is the only post-arrest response team for victims of relationship violence in Lansing, Lansing Township, Meridian Township, East Lansing and MSU.

Staff from CARE have volunteers that can respond to victims at their homes or places of employment, the hospital, or a local police department to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, and information about area resources.

CARE Procedures (post-arrest)

After an arrest for a crime involving relationship violence the officer shall request CARE assistance through the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center.

The officer shall provide: victim’s name, phone number, address and other relevant information about the situation.

It is the responsibility of both the arresting officer and the Duty Supervisor to ensure that CARE is contacted.

Dispatch will relay information to CARE staff.

Notify victims that CARE will be responding, but do not ask the victim whether or not they would like CARE to respond.

Officers may then leave the scene.

If the victim is not at a safe location and requires advocacy, the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center can page CARE to make phone contact with the victim instead.

No need to contact CARE if any of the following situations exist:

No arrest is made

The relationship violence is between roommates and there is no intimate relationship.

The victim left the area.

The victim is intoxicated beyond any ability to participate.

Note in your report “CARE Contact” and reasons why or why not contacted.

The Records Office Manager or designee shall forward reports of relationship violence to CARE.