Florida Law Enforcement Leaders Join National Child Abuse Prevention Campaign
Sixteen Florida law enforcement leaders join national colleagues on letter speaking out about abuse/neglect fatalities;
Report shows half of child abuse and neglect can be prevented though voluntary home-visiting
For comment from law enforcement, contact the law enforcement leaders identified below or Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — Sixteen law enforcement leaders from across Florida, including eleven from central Florida counties, joined a nationwide letter calling on Congress to support proven child abuse prevention strategies, the anti-crime organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids announced today. At least 50,239 Florida children suffered abuse or neglect in 2010—over 137 every day or 5 every hour, on average. The number of abuse or neglected Florida children is enough to fill every seat at the newly-opened Marlins Park.
Child abuse and neglect also claimed the lives of at least 1,560 children nationwide in 2010, including 180 Florida children. The Florida child abuse and neglect deaths comprised more than 11 percent of all U.S. fatalities. More than 1,560 law enforcement leaders and survivors—one for every child who lost their life to abuse or neglect—have signed the letter urging Congress to protect and expand funding for evidence-based home visiting services (see a list of Florida law enforcement leaders who signed the letter).
Signers of the letter from Florida are
Chief of Police, Margate
Chief of Police, Port Richey
Chief of Police, Madison
Sheriff, Martin County
Sheriff, Alachua County
Chief of Police, Ocala
Chief of Police, South Daytona
Chief of Police, Tallahassee
Survivor of Violence, Plantation
Chief of Police, Palm Beach Shores
Chief of Police, Miami Shores
Chief of Police, Atlantis
Executive Director, The Florida Police Chiefs Association
Chief of Police, New Smyrna Beach
Chief of Police, Cedar Key
The letter emphasized the benefits of voluntary home visiting services, which help new parents cope with the stresses of raising a young child. Research shows quality, voluntary home visiting programs can cut child abuse and neglect by up to 50 percent, significantly reduce later crime and save taxpayers money. They say that evidence-based home visiting can save as much as $21,000 for each family served by reducing abuse, neglect, juvenile crime and other negative outcomes (read more on how home visiting works).
The signatories, members of the anti-crime organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, pointed to hundreds of thousands of cases of abuse or neglect that occur every year and said that the scope of the problem should “shock the conscience of every American.”
“From a fiscal, moral and public safety perspective, we have an obligation to invest in home visiting and protect children from the harm caused by abuse and neglect,” the leaders agreed.
The signatories of the letter are members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national anti-crime organization of 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, other law enforcement leaders and violence survivors.