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Local Organizations Set Statewide Standard for Child Advocacy

New technology will revolutionize child abuse cases in Texas, and it all started right here in the Panhandle.


"It's a mobile forensic recording system, specifically designed for children's advocacy centers," Bob Flesher, with Amarillo Media Systems said. 

Amarillo Media Systems developed this mobile forensic interview systems originally for the Bridge in Amarillo. 

Children's Advocacy Center'  like The Bridge step in in cases of child abuse to interview the child in a comfortable setting. Those interviews can be used by police, investigators, and even in place of putting the child on the witness stand.

The bridge in Amarillo has been using mobile interview equipment from Amarillo Media Systems since the mid 90s. It allows the staff to reach kids across the High Plains.

"The Bridge covers 26 counties in the Texas Panhandle, which means we can travel as much as two and a half hours away, where the families, before this mobile equipment had to travel to us," April Leming, Director of the Bridge said. 

Forensic interviews utilize a picture frame with a hidden camera in it, that is placed in the interview room. Everything the child reports gets recorded into a laptop comupter in a separate viewing room."

A statewide grant will put this digital technology into 18 child advocacy centers around the state.

But according to Flesher, they've come a long over the years.

"It is something that didn't happen overnight. We did start on this, building the first ones, twenty years ago." Flesher said. 

Those 20 years of work have put these two groups into the lone star state spotlight, combining technology and compassion for kids.

Representatives from The Bridge and Amarillo Media Systems traveled to Austin to train others on the use of this technology. The Bridge will get updated digital equipment, as part of the statewide program.

New technology will revolutionize child abuse cases in Texas, and it all started right here in the panhandle.
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