Sometimes victims, alone or together with their children, flee their homes and find shelter with their relatives, friends or at safe houses. In such circumstances they often cannot take their personal belongings with them. At their request the police will escort victims or other household members to their residence so that they will be able to take their personal belongings they need and the belongings of their children. The police enter the residence at a victim’s request and ensure the safety of persons involved and of their property.
In the interest of time and limited resources, the police department will not be able to stand by while someone packs up other household items. Most of the time, a typical escort will last about 15 minutes.
Sometimes, there is a dispute over property ownership. The Maple Heights Police Department does not have the authority to decide who is to relinquish possession of property in civil disputes. This is a civil matter for a court to decide if an agreement cannot be reached. Officers will stand by while the victim gathers clothing, medicine or other necessities.
When a judge issues a restraining order or injunction prohibiting an offender from entering his/her family dwelling, the offender likely will be advised that s/he may contact the police for a one-time escort to retrieve personal belongings. The police will remain on the scene with the offender for a reasonable time (e.g., 15 minutes) while the offender gathers only necessary belongings such as clothes, toiletries, medication and essential work materials. Often the property to be gathered is limited by the court order.
If a non-household member requests an escort to retrieve personal belongings, the police department will first attempt to make contact with the resident to establish that the person gathering their belongings has permission to respond to the property and do so. If permission is not granted, the person requesting the escort may be advised to seek a remedy through civil action in court.
In order to request a police escort, please first respond to the Maple Heights Police Department if possible. To learn more about your rights as a victim of Domestic Violence or how the police can assist you, please visit our Domestic Violence information page.