Child abuse isn't a topic that people like to discuss. It's a deep, dark secret that can go unnoticed for a lifetime. In the meantime, the cycle continues and so does the destruction of lives.

April is a month that we rise up and let people know, "It shouldn't hurt to be a child." The cases during the pandemic were worse with cases actually reported. Police officers are some of the first on the scene and the Meridian Police made a strong statement for kids today, the official child abuse prevention vehicle.

The vehicle was unveiled this week with its own simple message, "Prevent Child Abuse." The popular child handprint is side by side with the blue pinwheel (Pinwheels for Prevention.)

The pinwheel represents the joyful, carefree childhoods all children deserve. This vehicle is a convesation starter and reminder for us and our community, that our responsibility is to take care of our future.

That comes from Meridian Police Chief Basterrechea during the announcement on Tuesday. The press release lists a very sobering 121 number of reported cases in 2020. We've seen 26 since the beginning of the year and these are just the ones reported. I can't emphasize enough that it's the number of unreported cases that scare authorities. This "prevent child abuse" logo on Meridian police vehicles sends a very strong message of support.

Meridian Police Department

The Meridian Police Department has been instrumental in our own events to help protect these kids. Each year they would show up to ride bicycles for the Cycle to Break the Cycle event in full uniform. I remember getting a police escort across I-84 from MPD when I ran all these marathons for the kids. These men and women see the things we only hear about and also take home the memories of things they can't talk about. Abuse is a tragic cycle and these are your front-line protectors. I love that the city of Meridian has made it official so everyone can see what April is and more importantly the message it sends to our kids.

Every time you see these child abuse prevention police cars in Meridan you can explain what that means to your kids. Talk to your kids. I'm telling you from personal experience that you never know what you're going to find out until you ask.

Meridian Police Department

If you're in an abusive situation it isn't your fault. Get help by calling following the links to several places. If you can't do that and need help now just call 911.

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