Domestic Violence Registry
The West Virginia Domestic Violence Registry is an innovative collaboration between the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the West Virginia State Police, the FBI, and more than two dozen other state, federal, and private entities.
The Registry was established in 2009 as a tool to communicate domestic violence protective orders to law enforcement. It enhances the enforcement of those protective orders by providing law enforcement officers the most up-to-date information on a court's actions. The information is available through the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC.
The Registry allows a law enforcement officer to know whether a current protective order is in effect as that officer responds to a call, enhancing the safety of both the officer and the potential victim. The database that supports the Registry has a scanned copy of the actual protective order, so there is no confusion about what it actually says, who issued it, and whether it is still in effect.
Magistrate court staff and family court staff scan domestic violence protective orders into the database within minutes of when they are issued by a court. Throughout the day, the computer system pulls those new orders, formats them, and submits them through the West Virginia State Police into the National Crime Information Center.
West Virginia has one of the most current and fastest reporting systems in the country. Law enforcement officers nationwide have access to that system.
When an officer in the field runs a name through the NCIC and there is a "hit" for a protective order, the officer is required to confirm the data from the original source within ten minutes. Because West Virginia Courthouses are not open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, it was not previously possible to confirm a "hit" for a protective order. Now officers in West Virginia State Police detachments are able to access the scanned image of the actual protective order and confirm its existence and effective date. Because detachments are open around the clock, they can do that around the clock.