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Meridian Police Department
Tuesday April 6th, 2021 :: 06:04 a.m. MDT


Media Release: Meridian Patrol Car Raises Awareness of Child Abuse

MEDIA RELEASE: Tuesday, April 6, 2021
CONTACT: Public Safety PIO, Stephany Galbreaith, [email protected]

Meridian Patrol Car Raises Awareness of Child Abuse
MERIDIAN – Meridian Police Department unveiled a new patrol car that brings awareness to child abuse; the first of its kind for the City of Meridian. What is normally a black-and-white police cruiser is now wrapped in a unique design that visually depicts a large blue pinwheel behind the blue ‘POLICE’ logo. The phrase “Prevent Child Abuse” next to a child’s handprint serves as a reminder that local law enforcement and community partners are here to support those in need.
The bright blue pinwheel design was introduced by a national campaign, Pinwheels for Prevention. This campaign spreads awareness and puts a new spin on prevention. The very nature of a pinwheel represents childlike lightheartedness and a vision of a world where all children grow up happy and healthy.
“The pinwheel represents the joyful, carefree childhoods all children deserve,” said Meridian Police Chief Basterrechea. “This vehicle is a conversation starter and reminder for us and our community, that our responsibility is to take care of our future.”
The Meridian Police Department works closely with the Children at Risk Evaluation Services (CARES) and the Women’s & Children’s Alliance (WCA) to assist victims of child abuse.
"The WCA applauds the City of Meridian for working to create even greater awareness about child abuse. Home is not a safe haven for everyone and often the most vulnerable are young children, who cannot speak up or protect themselves,” said WCA CEO Bea Black. “We hope this blue-ribbon awareness patrol vehicle will remind community members that help is just a phone call away. It takes a village to protect our children."
In 2020 there were 151 reported child abuse cases in Meridian. So far, in 2021 there have been 26 reported cases.
“Child abuse and neglect are happening right here in our community,” said St Luke’s CARES Medical Director Dr. Matthew Cox. “It is imperative that we all do our part in protecting kids, because failing to act is failing a child.”
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and a good opportunity to set the expectation for our community and let families know there are resources available to help.
ABOUT CARES: St. Luke’s CARES (Children at Risk Evaluation Services) is a nationally accredited child advocacy center that provides a neutral, child-friendly facility where children can be evaluated for allegations of child abuse and maltreatment. The St Luke’s CARES team provides medical examinations, treatment and forensic interviews conducted by specially trained professionals. They also provide children and their families an opportunity to understand their trauma and begin the process of healing through advocacy, education, referrals and resources. 
ABOUT WCA: The WCA provides safety, healing and freedom from domestic abuse and sexual assault. The WCA operates secure shelters and provides professional counseling, with clinicians trained in child and play therapy. Additionally, the organization offers legal advocacy, crisis services and case management to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Master’s level therapists and interns provide therapy services to adult and child victims of emotional and physical abuse, rape and sexual assault and to survivors with co-occurring disorders (substance use and mental health disorders). Therapy services are offered to shelter residents and members of the community. WCA also offers licensed childcare on the secure shelter campus.
To report child abuse, Meridian residents can contact the Meridian Police Department by calling 911 or 208-377-6790.
The Meridian Police Department’s mission is to provide the highest quality service in partnership with the community to preserve and protect life and property through education, prevention and enforcement. The department has 128 police officers and 40 civilian staff dedicated to making Meridian a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Meridian Police Department
1401 E Watertower St
Meridian, ID 83642

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 208-888-6678

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