Retired Detective Jim Holler trained over 60 social workers, law enforcement investigators, prosecutors, child advocates and counselors from all over the state of Alabama about child death investigations. Chief Holler is an internationally known speaker specializing in crimes against children investigations and has trained and provided technical assistance to thousands of attorneys, judges, law enforcement professionals, medical, mental health and public health professionals, social workers, and advocates both in the United States and internationally on a range of topics specifically related to crimes against children. In Chief Holler’s 35 years of law enforcement and public safety service, he has seen firsthand the failures and successes of child abuse investigations and he knows that the well- being of a child victim depends on the actions adults and professionals are willing to take.
This year’s training focused on corroborating evidence in the child abuse investigation, abusive head trauma, childhood falls (accidental or inflicted), child torture, suffocation, drowning and child death homicides. No one likes to think about children losing their lives as a result of homicide. However, those that attended the training and participate in local multidisciplinary teams are dedicated to learning more to ensure that justice is served for the innocent lives that are lost.
The Cherokee County multidisciplinary team has been established for over 16 years. This team consists of social workers from the Cherokee County Department of Human Resources, local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and investigators with the District Attorney’s Office, child and family advocates as well as counselors with The Children’s Advocacy Center and a local physician. The team meets monthly to discuss a collaborative child abuse investigation among all involved agencies.
Training is imperative to ensure that our children receive the most qualified services and to hopefully remove more child abusers from our community. Funding for this training was provided through a competitive grant process with the Juvenile Justice Task Force of Alabama. The training is coordinated by The Children’s Advocacy Center of Cherokee County and the funding is disbursed by the Cherokee County Department of Human Resources. The CAC would also like to extend a special thanks to District Attorney Mike O’Dell for his financial support of this training each year.