Temple, TX — Thursday, at 1:00 p.m., a press conference was held in front of the Temple Police Department’s main headquarters. Chief Gary Smith, accompanied by members of the Temple Police Department, State Representative Ralph Sheffield, and Dr. Danny Little proudly announced the implementation of a new public service campaign to combat the rise in child injury and abuse cases reported in the city. The campaign, which was developed locally through a cooperative effort with Lamar Advertising, and designated as A.C.T. was officially unveiled today.
A.C.T. is an acronym standing for “Abuse Ceases Today” and is an initiative by the Temple Police Department to increase the community’s awareness of child, domestic, and family abuse. The goals behind the campaign are twofold.
The first and foremost is to increase the community awareness that these events do occur in our area. The City of Temple has seen the number of injury to a child cases almost double in a two year period. In 2011there were 25 “injury to a child” reports filed with the Temple Police Department; sadly we have seen that number rise to 48 reports in 2013.
The second goal is to help redirect both our officers and the community’s views during the course of their day.
“We are directing our officers to take a more proactive stance when responding to residences” said Chief Gary Smith.
Officers responding to domestic violence calls or family disturbances will now be looking at more than just if an offense has occurred. The officers will be looking for ways to assist those families in need, by referring those individuals to the appropriate counseling or victim’s services.
Chief Smith went on to say “While one abuse report of any kind is too many, the type of increase seen between 2011 and 2013is absolutely unacceptable. We are going to have to come together as a community in order to reverse this trend. If you are aware of a family or in a family that is in need of help please let someone know. If you don’t know who to talk to; then please contact us.”