City makes push to encourage reporting child abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The fight against child abuse is now hitting the streets. The city will be using electronic billboards and bus posters to remind people it’s your duty to report child abuse.

Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry announced the push Friday at the Child Abuse Prevention Summit, saying there are too many kids falling through the cracks. He mentioned several high profile child abuse cases, including Ty Toribio and Omaree Varela.

Omaree was kicked to death by his mother in December. CYFD and APD were heavily criticized following Omaree’s death, and the city created a Child Abuse Prevention Task Force in response.

The mayor also says he wants an APD employee to act as a child abuse liason to work with other agencies, and he’s set aside $100,000 in his proposed budget to make some changes.

“That task force is going to be looking for recommendations on how to better collaborate between APD, CYFD and other agencies, both public and private, and the money is this year’s budget is to help kickstart that effort,” Berry said.

Those billboards and bus posters that are coming will highlight CYFD’s hotline for reporting child abuse, or #SAFE.

The summit comes two days after the governor proposed an overhaul of how CYFD investigates abuse cases after she was criticized for not doing enough to fix the department’s problems.

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