OGDEN — When native kids grow to be victims of crime, forensic interviewers wish to discuss to them in a quiet, non-threatening setting.
“No police vehicles, no uniforms, no weapons and badges,” stated Rod Layton, a former police officer who directs the Weber-Morgan Kids’s Justice Heart.
As soon as against the law is reported, police contact the Utah Division of Youngster and Household Providers, which units up an appointment for the kid on the middle, situated in a residential space within the 2400 block of Van Buren Avenue. Forensic interviewers discuss to the kid, and the results of the interview could result in a prison prosecution. Crimes embody bodily abuse, sexual abuse and baby endangerment.
Kids additionally obtain medical examinations and psychological well being assessments. Remedy and different help providers are organized.
However a crushing caseload has made the justice middle’s present location untenable, Layton stated in an April 5 presentation to the Ogden Metropolis Council. “We aren’t capable of facilitate two or three households at a time,” he stated.
The native middle is approaching 900 circumstances a 12 months, greater than an analogous middle in Utah County in an space with a bigger inhabitants, Layton stated.
So plans are being made to construct a brand new, bigger justice middle on loads at 1845 Jackson Ave. “It’s secluded, a singular piece of property, a stupendous nook,” Layton stated. The middle desires a brand new constructing that additionally will appear to be an inviting residence — “the grandma impact, as we name it.”
In that respect, the Van Buren location has not been excellent. “The children are literally afraid of the home there now,” he stated. “They suppose it appears to be like spooky.”
Layton additionally likes the brand new proposed location as a result of the Ogden River Parkway and the Ogden Botanical Gardens are a brief stroll away, which might profit the middle’s workers. “I’ve to verify my employees is taken care of,” he stated. “These are tough, tough circumstances. We’re approach past first responders in terms of trauma.”
The Ogden Metropolis Council in April accredited a zoning change, from residential to industrial, to accommodate the challenge. And the Weber County Fee earlier this month accredited an settlement between town and the county clearing the best way for the county to behave as developer.
Kids’s justice facilities are situated in communities throughout the state below provisions of state legislation. Layton stated he studies to the Weber County Legal professional’s Workplace, which coordinates prison prosecutions and sufferer’s providers in circumstances involving kids.
He informed town council that the county, due to this fact, could be the best proprietor of the lot being hunted for the brand new middle. Nevertheless, the land is owned by the Ogden Faculty District. The lot is on a again nook of the block that hosts the college district headquarters advanced.
“We love the idea, the concept of a partnership with the CJC to offer a rescue location like this,” stated faculty district spokesperson Jer Bates. He stated additional discussions are required on the possession query.
The event settlement between the county and town wouldn’t take impact till the county obtained possession of the lot, in accordance with the event doc.