“Any time you’re talking about the children of the county or community it hits the right note and we certainly want to be on board,” Mayor Petey Ellis said.
Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair had come to the council to ask for $2,500, but council members unanimously voted to double the requested donation amount because of the community’s need for the services provided by the center.
“Thank you,” Adair said. “That was very generous. This is greatly needed.”
Advocacy centers are specially outfitted locations with trained forensic interviewers that allow children who have been victims of physical or sexual abuse to recount their experiences in a safe, detailed way.
These interviews are recorded and can be used in evidence or played in court if the child is unable to testify.
The county currently uses the Prescott House in Birmingham, which comes out of the district attorney’s budget.
Using an advocacy center in another county has also led to delays and waits for justice for children in Walker County. “Our kids here don’t need to wait in line when they need these services,” Adair said.
Adair said that an anonymous donation should enable the CAC to secure a physical location in the next 90 days.
Council member Bill Fowler also committed the Sumiton-Area Veteran’s Board to hosting a fundraiser to benefit the center in the near future.
“I think this is very worthwhile,” Fowler said.
In other business:
•The council approved sending officer Kris Price to evidence technician school and sending Officers Greg Glover and Harold Cox to classes for school resource officer training.