Law enforcement officers play a crucial role in preventing and responding to child abuse. As first responders to many situations in locations in which children are present, officers can identify possible child abuse and enhance the safety of the child(ren) involved. When receiving a direct report of child abuse, officers investigate critical situations that could leave a child at future risk of harm if mistakes are made.
DUE TO THE COMPLEXITIES OF THESE INVESTIGATIONS, IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR NOT ONLY THE VICTIM BUT THE ALLEGED SUSPECT THAT A COMPREHENSIVE INVESTIGATION BE CONDUCTED BY AN EXPERIENCED INVESTIGATOR.
Because the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is also required by law to intervene in cases of possible child abuse, law enforcement officers may often perform their duties in these cases in a collaborative overlapping investigation.