Written by | SAVANNAH TARBET |
The Amarillo College Criminal Justice Program and more than 50 local businesses will host the 16th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference. The event will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today in the Amarillo Civic Center. The registration fee is $25, which includes lunch. The conference’s purpose is to bring awareness and provide information about child abuse prevention to the Amarillo area, especially during April, which is National Child Abuse and Neglect
“Our Conference Steering Committee works hard every year to design a conference that will appeal to a broad audience of professionals working in the criminal justice, social service and other related fields,” said Eric Wallace, director of the AC criminal justice program. Guest speakers will include Joe Laramie and Chris Baughman. Laramie is a program manager with the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College.
Baughman is a consultant on MSNBC’s show, Sex Slaves, a former police detective and author. They will talk about technology and child sexual abuse investigations, child pornography and crimes related to human trafficking, among other topics. “It is our sincere desire that this conference will provide valuable information and insights that will help participants achieve both their professional and personal goals,” Wallace said.
Child abuse is a growing problem all over the world, and Amarillo is no exception. “As far as child abuse statistics for this area, it is a problem,” Wallace said. In 2015, the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle saw about a 10 percent drop in the number of reported child abuse cases compared to 2014, while some counties have seen rates increase. Wallace said he hopes the event will benefit the community. “It appears progress is being made, and this conference is one more way to help make a difference,” he said.