Police use UV light in fight against domestic violence - WSMV Channel 4

Police use UV light in fight against domestic violence

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Domestic violence is to blame for 52 percent of all violent crimes in Tennessee, and police now have a new weapon to keep victims safe.

A special type of flashlight is offering better protection for victims while also helping to make sure offenders are prosecuted.

"We used this recently where both the suspect and victim both had some pretty horrendous injuries on each other and to each other, and we had to corroborate from their stories which one was telling the truth," said Capt. Natalie Lokey.

It works by combining ultra-violet light with a special filter to allow domestic violence detectives to see bruises and markings on victims that otherwise wouldn't be visible to the naked eye.

"Where this comes into play for domestic violence is often victims have strangulation, for instance, those markings might not show up for a couple days. Sometimes they don't even show up. So this is a way for us to verify a victim's story," Lokey said.

And it is already working. In a matter of just five weeks, Metro detectives have used the new flashlights in four different investigations.

The science enables police to build stronger cases, come to court with solid evidence and work to prevent another attack from happening.

The new UV flashlights are being used across the country. Metro Police bought five - at just over $120 each - and have already trained their domestic violence detectives to use them.

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