Scottsdale Police to Investigate Ignored CPS Cases in the City

Categories: News
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Randy Robertson via Flickr


Instead of waiting for the understaffed Child Protective Services to get around to looking into the ignored cases of abuse in Scottsdale, the police department announced that it's going to help out.

Of the 6,554 ignored reports to the CPS hotline, 143 occurred in Scottsdale, and the police department's making a task force to investigate those cases.

See also:
-CPS Plans to Have Investigations Started on Ignored Cases by End of January

Last month, CPS announced the thousands of ignored cases -- the result of an apparent labeling problem. People had been calling the CPS hotline for the last three years to report child abuse or neglect, but a CPS employee (or employees) labeled those 6,500-plus cases in such a way that they'd never get investigated by a caseworker.

Officials have yet to provide a reason as to why marking the cases that way, as "Not Investigated," was even an option, since CPS is bound by law to look into every allegation, to a certain extent.

And while that mess remains unresolved, CPS' parent organization, the state Department of Economic Security, announced that it planned to have investigations started into all the ignored cases by the end of January. Governor Jan Brewer also assembled a Child Advocate Response Examination (CARE) team to oversee the re-processing of these cases.

Scottsdale's not going to wait around for that, according to a joint statement from the city and CPS' Office of Child Welfare Investigations (which discovered the thousands of ignored cases).
Following guidelines set by the Team, SPD will contact, if possible, the source of the original report of suspected maltreatment, [and view] the child to the extent necessary to describe the child's overall appearance. In addition, officers will conduct an interview based on the report allegations and will go through a safety assessment checklist and follow up to view the child's living conditions.
In a statement, Mayor Jim Lane urged other cities to make the same move.

Although CPS officials have said only a handful of the ignored hotline allegations detail potential criminal conduct, and say that no child has died since a hotline call was made, there's no way of telling when caseworkers will get around to all of these cases. Even before this discovery was made, CPS caseworkers already had case loads well above normal, and budget requests were made for hundreds more caseworkers before this whole thing was made public.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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10 comments
Gregg Myers
Gregg Myers

<<< *crossing his fingers they'll get even half of such face-saving measures right* … would hold my breath, but i'm blonde, not stupid :|

Jan Ziff
Jan Ziff

Only before they're born.....

Barbara Hoskinson
Barbara Hoskinson

Someone needs to do something besides hold meetings! Brewer has totally dropped the ball on this one but that is no surprise, children don't contribute to the GOP coffers

sangrevale
sangrevale

Hey, did you forget your history? Governor Brew-a-cup-o'-bull-s**++er was the one who cut funding repeatedly going back four years ago and "we" did nothing. So whose fault will never be investigated based on the current rules? The same said Governor that assembled the CARE team. As far as COSPD being professional in their investigations, take a look a past lawsuits concerning use of force, etc. No this is about a society that says "we" must save every baby born, but after the baby is born "we" have no safety net when the parents can't, won't or are unable to parent.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Finally a professional agency will investigate some of the ignored cases by CPS.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

If Dems were in charge in Sand Land and a scandal of this proportion erupted, Repubs were would be calling for mass resignations. It's curious to note that Dems aren't calling for heads to roll. Maybe they should. 

rickaz59
rickaz59

How do they know that no child has died?  What if the family moved to California, or Arkansas, or back to Mexico?  Is there a central database of dead children?

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@sangrevale One officer with six kills. It would be hard to find another department with a record like that.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@eric.nelson745

What's even more curious is that a Republican is in charge... and the Republicans are not calling for heads to roll...


Republican hypocrisy, more of a universal constant than gravity

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

That's a good point, and one that doesn't get a lot of attention. Right now as I understand it, there is no way for CPS caseworkers in AZ to know if a family has a history with the equivalent of CPS in other states, there is no national database that links them together. And an argument can be made that there should be one. I seem to recall it being reported that in the case of Aimee Deal, the poor little girl who was stuffed in a footlocker and left to die, her family had been under investigation for child abuse and neglect by Utah's equivalent of CPS before they moved to AZ. Perhaps they moved because the heat was on? I'm sure it happens.


Some moths ago, I called CPS to report one of my neighbors because of the way she treated her kids, both probably under 6. She yelled at them constantly and called them absolutely horrible names all day and night, loud enough for everyone in the complex to hear (I live in a condo) and sometimes she put them out on the back patio at night, even when it was raining or cold, and let them stand out there screaming for up to 20 minutes. I also saw her go off and leave them in the house by themselves, sometimes for hours, with a threat of "don't you dare leave the house or I'll beat your asses!" She often appeared to be high on something and other neighbors told me they smelled booze on her breath frequently. (I never tried to talk to her because she always looked like she'd just as soon punch you in the face as say hello.) For all I know my call could have been one that CPS didn't investigate, but I also know that about a month after I made the call, she packed up and moved in the middle of the night. I still think about those kids sometimes...I hope someone does right by them. I tried...   

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