OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma nonprofit organization is hoping for a miracle this holiday season after an essential piece of equipment failed.
The CARE Center works with law enforcement officers and child protective services to conduct forensic interviews to gather information from abused children. Interviews are recorded so children only have to tell their abuse story once, and the recordings can be used in court.
“Investigators rely on working audio and video for the investigation and prosecution of the case,” said Lt. Kylie Turner, Oklahoma City Police Department Crimes Against Children. “Even when the investigators and child welfare workers watch the interview as it is happening, important statements by the child can be missed. Proper video equipment is a necessary tool utilized throughout a case, especially during prosecution. The video can be used during the prosecution of a case to prevent the child from having to retell their story and potentially being further victimized.”
However, officials say their recording system failed on Monday morning.
“Our forensic interviewers are professionally trained to gather evidence through non-leading conversations in a comfortable setting,” said CARE Center CEO Stacy McNeiland. “Recording those interviews protects kids from further victimization and protects the community. These recording are of critical importance.”
The cost to replace the equipment is estimated at $35,000.
“This is a substantial purchase for our agency,” McNeiland said. “Without this equipment, kids won’t get the services they need. We’re hoping for a holiday miracle.”
Anyone who can help fill this urgent need is encouraged to contact Camden Means or Stacy McNeiland at (405) 236-2100.