It can be a traumatic, life-altering experience for a child to be present during the arrest of a parent or during other law enforcement activities.
That is why the Osborne Association and the Buffalo Police Department are partnering to train about 750 police officers and staff in child-sensitive policing and arrest policies and protocols through “Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents Project.”
The program will establish a safe and friendly space for officers to take children while locating and waiting for a caregiver; connect affected families to support services; document the training as a tool for ongoing technical assistance; and provide a model for other law enforcement agencies.
A consortium of youth-serving agencies will advise on the project and provide follow-up services for children and families.
Denise O’Donnell, a former U.S. attorney in Western New York, is coordinating the project, which is funded through AT&T and the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
Representatives from Osborne, Buffalo Police and AT&T announced the program Thursday at the Community Health Center of Buffalo, along with Mayor Byron W. Brown and State Sen. Tim Kennedy.