Abused children in Richmond will have an easier time opening up to law enforcement officials, police say, after the Council on Tuesday approved the continued funding of the Community Violence Solutions Interview Center in Martinez.
At a cost of $21,350 for one year, the program ensures that all police investigations involving child abuse allegations in Richmond will include a forensic interviewer who is trained at working with youths, according to Police Chief Chris Magnus. The forensic interviewers reportedly provide a safe and caring environment for abused children and minimize their stress.
Rather than the child being bombarded by law enforcement officials following an incident of alleged abuse, the forensic interviewer works to schedule dates and times for the child to meet a social worker, police investigator or an on-call deputy district attorney. All interviews take place at the Children’s Interview Center in Martinez.
After the interviews are completed, “each child is placed in a safe and secure living environment,” according to officials. “The information gleaned during each of the interviews is captured on a DVD and used during all judicial proceedings. Consequently, the need for children to testify in court is minimal.”