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.