Federal Justice Minister and Attorney General Peter MacKay recently visited the city’s first Child & Youth Advocacy Centre on Yonge St.
After touring the facility, Mackay met with partner-agency managers and engaged in a round-table meeting with Deputy Chief Mark Saunders, Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins of the Sex Crimes Unit and D/Sgt. Greg Payne.
“The Minister was very impressed with what he saw, and one of the things he pointed out is that he would like to see facilities like this across the country where all the partners will be under one roof,” Payne said.
Staffed by Payne, two detectives and 14 detective constables, the unit – with the support of several community partners – will investigate child abuse cases in 11 of the Service’s 17 Divisions. They include Central Field Command that comprises 11, 12, 13, 14, 51, 52, 53, 54 and 55 Divisions, along with 32 and 33 Divisions.
Police will investigate physical assaults, emotional abuse or neglect occurrences when the victim is under 16 and the suspect is a caregiver, parent or person in a position of trust or authority, or when the suspect is known and the offences are not within the mandate of the Sex Crimes Unit investigative office; and occurrences entitled “Child in Need of Protection” or Child Left Unattended.”