Nebraska law officers to get new tool for child abuse cases

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska law enforcement agencies are slated to get another training tool to help officers who are working on child abuse cases, Attorney General Doug Peterson announced Wednesday.

An eight-part DVD series will provide instructions on how to handle reported cases of child abuse. The DVDs and training manuals are aimed at new officers, with lessons such as the proper way to gather evidence and interview children.

The series also discusses the role of Nebraska’s child advocacy centers and protective services hotline.

The packages will likely be distributed to local law enforcement agencies by mid-August. Each DVD runs from 20 to 40 minutes long, said Carol Stitt, a child welfare consultant for the League of Nebraska Municipalities.

Peterson said the materials are intended for officers who have been hired but not yet completed all of their formal training at the state law enforcement academy. He said it’s important that officers know how to interact with young victims who are usually frightened and unfamiliar with officers.

“If that officer is hired tomorrow, the thought was that we need to get this into their hands as quickly as possible,” he said.

The project is a joint effort of law enforcement groups, municipalities and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Peterson said representatives from his office plan to travel the state to host regional training sessions for law enforcement departments.

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