Sandy City PD encouraging others to get on board with dedicated child advocates

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SANDY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Sandy City Police Department says child advocates are working hand in hand with officers to save lives in the city.

That’s why the department is now taking an active role in helping others do the same across the state.

When it comes to crime in our community, children often get caught right in the middle of the devastation.

“It really can affect the children more than any other part of the family. They are viewing really horrific situations,” said Family Crimes and Intervention Coordinator Jennifer Hamilton.

These are victims that don’t have a choice in the matter, but the department is making sure they do have a voice.

Hamilton’s team is dedicated to watching out for the best interest of children as criminal cases play out.

“Getting the school district involved, and how they can support, is there a therapist out there that specializes in children and the trauma, or mental health issues. So, just finding those right resources for that specific family. It’s never a one-size-fits-all,” said Hamilton.

A few years ago a bill sponsored by state Senator Lincoln Fillmore required DCFS to share crucial information with local child protection units.

Detective Evan Keller says the increased collaboration has had a clear impact.

“I believe I’ve seen lives saved by this kind of stuff,” said Keller who focuses on family crime investigations.

Keller believes other police departments could see that same result.

To spread the word, the department has put together a series of training videos hoping to get everyone who could make a difference on the same page.

“My goal, as I look at it, is to just share a very simple mindset, and that is that all of us do better if we work together on a team,” said Keller.

The department got $15,000 from the state to put together those training videos.


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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...