Local Police Get Training on Interviewing Children

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Friday wrapped up a week long law enforcement training program for Coast police forces. The program, run by the Children Advocacy Center for Mississippi, teaches officers how to interview children and teens who are victims of abuse or who witnessed a crime.

Harrison County District Attorney, Joel Smith, says child forensic interviewers are crucial in convicting criminals because they can often retrieve the much needed testimony from a child. Last week, a Biloxi man was convicted of sexual assault of a nine year old girl thanks to the girl’s testimony of what happened to her on a camping trip.

Smith says, “I cannot overemphasize how important this training will be to child abuse cases for years to come on the Coast. It is the single most important training that we will be able to give our officers for years to come. It will allow us to take child abuse investigations to the next level and make sure that we do an effective job of protecting children here on the Coast.”

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Jackson and Harrison County District Attorneys specifically wanted to bring this training to the Coast because of the high number of child abuse cases in south Mississippi and the low number of child forensic interviewers.