The Advocacy Center In Action

Last Friday night was extremely busy here at Childhelp. The unofficial tally was 6 original investigations, 5 kids fostered on different investigations, two search warrants served, one severely injured infant that is in an ongoing investigation and 2 bad guys booked into jail.

While this was a busy night by any standard, the complexity of each investigation, sheer number of kids involved and the relentless pace of this night surpassed anything most of us have seen in a long time.

The good news is that the Childhelp partnership really stepped up in an amazing way to help our victims, and each other. I just want to take a couple minutes of your time to tell you about the amazing work of a few members of this team.

Forensic Interviewers:

Jennifer and Chris:

Jennifer was not on standby, but stepped up to help with some of the interviews since she was at Childhelp. Jennifer allowed me to deploy my resources to start other cases while she conducted interviews.

Chris was off duty when we called her to help with a victim that was. Chris came in without hesitation and took care of this interview for us. For Chris to drop everything and come in to help was truly commendable.

Childhelp Staff/Volunteers:

Jazmin, Lauren and Gaby were a huge help with all of the kids by helping keep everything organized and safe. At one point, we received word that a potential suspect was on the way to Childhelp. Jazmin quickly recognized that this was happening and contacted me to ensure this was dealt with as quickly as possible.

Gaby stuck around late into the night and kept that playroom running for us well beyond our normal hours.

Clinical Director:

Around 8 or 9pm, we had a case coming in that involved a 15-year-old that had reportedly been kidnapped and raped. The victim was reportedly extremely distraught and having understandable issues with what had occurred. At this point the playroom staff had to leave, so Clinical Director Kristi Murphy volunteered to come in and help with the playroom.

Kristi hung in and helped keep the playroom running until after midnight, but not before going out and getting the team subs to help carry everyone through the night. She knew our team was having a rough night and that no had been able to eat yet.

hildhelp CPS Team:

When this all started early Friday afternoon, the CPS team at Childhelp immediately jumped in to help out. While we were working one case, Christi on the CPS team ran out and TCN'd our victims on the next case before the suspect’s parents could pick them up from school. Due to our manpower, at that point we would have been challenged to protect these kids without Christi's immediate assistance, so the teamwork here at Childhelp really saved the day on this one. Christi then stayed late until we were able to complete our investigation.

Laura, another amazing CPS team member, didn't finish working with us until after 3:00 A.M. Saturday morning, when we finished with a seriously injured infant at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I was actually walking Laura to her car at around midnight when I fielded this call. Laura insisted on staying to help. She did all of the background work and beat my team to the hospital.

Laura also helped us with fostering 3 kids from an earlier case and I believe she worked 5 of the 6 callouts with my team.

Laura's work was an outstanding example of how this Childhelp partnership between CPS and Phoenix PD is supposed to work. Despite all of the issues we had Friday night, our partners with CPS ensured every child we worked with was safe. Laura was simply outstanding and we would not have been able to get through the night this seamlessly without Laura's help.

I have rambled on long enough, in summary, Friday night the entire Childhelp team worked to perfection. This was an example of what this team is capable of when we all work together, consistent with the goals of the Multi-Disciplinary Protocol.

Thank you to all the members of this team for their efforts that led to our ultimate success Friday night.

~ Sergeant Nicholas DiPonzio #6494
 Family Investigations Bureau
 Crimes Against Children

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