JACKSONVILLE – Officers from several law enforcement agencies joined child welfare workers this week in Jacksonville to hone their skills in responding to child abuse situations.
The groups gathered at the Central Baptist Church for Advanced Techniques in Child Abuse Investigation on Wednesday, hosted by the Crisis Center in Anderson and Cherokee Counties.
This course covered crucial aspects related to law enforcement response to abuse, neglect, exploitation and internet crimes against children, according to organizers. It combined an overview of how to respond effectively to violence with instruction on the benefits of a multidisciplinary team approach. Students also explored nuances in an inquiry based on a case study.
Crisis center executive director Rebecca Cunio, who is also a forensic interviewer, said the training was a good reminder of the importance of a multidisciplinary team approach.
“This joint training provides a space for the two disciplines to meet and discuss current trends in crime, as well as to improve future collaboration and communication between law enforcement and the CPS,” said Cunio.
The training was led by Sgt. Keven Fite and Jessi Jones. Fite is a Tyler Police Department Patrol Division Supervisor and Polygraph Examiner who specializes in investigations involving crimes against children. Jones is a forensic nurse and gave a presentation on the importance of forensic examinations for sexual assault.
The Anderson and Cherokee Counties Crisis Center has formal working agreements with more than 40 partner agencies that make up the multidisciplinary team at the Children’s Advocacy Center. These partner agencies include law enforcement, DFPS, county and district prosecutor’s offices, health professionals, victim advocates, and mental health professionals.
Professionals who attended the training included representatives from the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office, Rusk Police Department, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Police Department, Protection Investigations childhood of Cherokee County DFPS, Cuney Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Tyler Police Department, Henderson Police Department. and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.
Cunio said training exercises like Wednesday’s, along with other services, make the center a crucial part of the community.
âThe Anderson and Cherokee Counties Crisis Center is a vital non-profit organization within a community. Thanks to the crisis center, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse have free access to services recommended by professionals and offered according to the highest standards of care, âshe said. .
For more information about the Crisis Center or the services offered, visit mycrisiscenter.com or call (903) 586-9118.