Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office has begun the process of installing updated technology and new digital recording equipment in Deirdre’s House, Morris County’s Child Advocacy Center, to assist the detectives in the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit in the ongoing fight against child sexual abuse.
The new equipment is being paid for by money allocated by the County of Morris through the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. The equipment being replaced was installed over 10 years ago.
“This investment was made to ensure that we are doing everything possible to combat child sexual abuse and to ensure that cases involving the most vulnerable victims utilize the best investigative tools available. Our partnership with Deirdre’s House is essential to that purpose, said Prosecutor Knapp.”
The state-of-the-art recording equipment, which is currently utilized by a number of other state and federal agencies to advance investigations, is being installed this week at Deirdre’s House.
“Investing in this new equipment is vital in the battle against child abuse, to make sure our investigators have the best tools available to deal with these sad cases. It is money well spent,” said Freeholder Doug Cabana, the county governing board’s liaison on law and public safety matters.
When a child victim makes an allegation of sexual abuse, extensive efforts are undertaken to minimize the trauma to which a child may be exposed in the legal system. In cases involving children under the age of 12, specially trained detectives from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office conduct digitally recorded forensic interviews at Deirdre’s House.
These interviews are later used in court for prosecution of offenders and can also be made available to child protection professionals. The use of this advanced technology will enhance the evidence in a criminal case, minimize the number of interviews the child will have to face, and will allow the child to begin the healing process.
While most children who are abused do not report immediately – and others may never report at all – it is estimated that 1-in-5 girls and 1-in-20 boys will be sexually abused before turning 18. In addition, more than 80 percent of those who suffer this type of abuse will be victimized by someone that they know.
Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the Morris County Board of Freeholders for their support in this effort, as well as Maria Vinci-Savettiere and the staff of Deirdre’s House for their on-going collaboration with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit and their continuous support of victims of sexual abuse.
Any inquiries can be directed to Executive Captain Richard A. Rose at 973-285-6244 or [email protected]