FORT WAYNE, Ind. WFFT) - In 2016, 59 children died as a result of child abuse and neglect in Indiana.
Often the first on the scene are police officers. Detective John Chambers of the Fort Wayne Police Department often sees these cases come across his desk, so he's well aware of how police officers handle the situation.
Chambers said, "Uniform officer arrives on scene, speaks with all parties involved. At which time they gather the information, collects evidence, documents the scene, such as photographs if applicable."
Of those child abuse deaths (24 deaths versus the 35 involving neglect), 88% of those children are age three and under, which makes it difficult for officers to gather information.
"it’s always more difficult when the victim, the child is unable to tell us or investigators what happened when we clearly see, or the officers sees clear signs of physical injury," Chambers said.
That’s why you should get involved if you suspect child abuse or neglect. Some of the signs include
- Physical injuries
- Always seems to be preparing for something bad to happen
- Lack of parent supervision
- Frequently absent from school
- Lacks needed medical care
More information on how to recognize abuse can be found here.
So, if you suspect abuse, call 911 and police and DCS will take it from there.
You are encouraged to wear blue on April 5th in order to raise awareness of programs that help promote healthy children and families.