Class teaches how to better recognize and investigate child abuse
Sgt. John Kendall (left) and Spc. Brandi Streit consult during a crime scene investigation class in Wiesbaden's Hainerberg Housing June 13.

WIESBADEN, Germany - For the first time, law enforcement, medical and social services personnel were able to take the Child Abuse Prevention Investigative Techniques class in Wiesbaden.

The eight-day class, which took place June 10-19 at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center, teaches people how to better recognize and investigate child abuse, said Michelle Stosich, Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program manager.

The class focuses on how to conduct interviews, how to gather physical evidence, how to remain sensitive to the needs of victims and non-offending parents and special legal considerations when it comes to investigating child abuse.

Don Hayden, CAPIT course manager at the United States Army Military Police School in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and primary instructor of the course, said the aim of the class is to educate participants so they are better able to identify child abuse.

"We want people to be attuned to what could be going on," he said.

There are some participants, medical personnel, for example, who are more likely to have child abusers let down their guard around them, Hayden said, and it is important to have them trained to look for indicators.

The same is true for identifying victims, he said.

"Education will hopefully increase their ability to observe and their ability to see that a person might be a victim and we need to help this person," Hayden said.

The class holds a maximum of 55 people, and that is how many people took the class, Stosich said. While most of the people are from the Wiesbaden community, others traveled from Kaiserslautern, Heidelberg, Baumholder and Vicenza.

Kai Bartens, a CID agent in Wiesbaden, said he has had similar training in the past, but he expected the class to improve his investigative skills even more.

"It will definitely help law enforcement and family advocacy better deal with victims and identify them sooner," Bartens said.

Sgt. Chris Brown, a military police investigator supervisor, said the class will help ensure that people are properly assisting victims and better able to conduct complete and thorough investigations.

"I think it will be great for Wiesbaden because it brings additional skill sets to our investigations into what I believe are some of the most heinous crimes there are," Brown said.

Brown said people who suspect child abuse should call the Military Police at mil 114, civ (0611) 705-5096 or CID at mil 337-6552, 6554 or civ (0611) 705-6552, 705-6554.

"If people suspect crimes are going on, they should not be afraid to come forward and say something," Brown said.

Page last updated Tue June 18th, 2013 at 00:00