Amazi: Task force should improve continuity for child protection

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sheriff Terese Amazi said a new task force on child protection should bring continuity to the way law enforcement and human services officials respond to abuse claims across the state.

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi to the Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children last week.


As previously reported in the Herald, Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Amazi to the Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children, which was formed following the death of 4-year-old Eric Dean. Fifteen reports alleging that Eric was being abused had been filed with child protection officials. Yet, the Starbuck boy died in February 2013 from abdominal blows, and the medical examiner’s report noted bite marks on his scalp and face, according to a Star Tribune report. His father’s girlfriend is serving a life sentence for his murder.

Amazi told the county board Tuesday that she met with the group on Monday, and it identified that the 87 counties in Minnesota file reports and record things differently. The task force will look for continuity.

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“I think that’s what we’re tasked with is to get everyone on the same page,” she said.

County Attorney Kristen Nelsen applauded the different Mower County entities — law enforcement, attorney staff, human services, etc. — for working as a team to respond to abuse reports and other such claims.

The task force will make recommendations for comprehensive improvements to the child protection system in the upcoming 2015 Legislative Session. The Governor announced the creation of the new Task Force last week, along with other actions to make changes to the state’s child protection system.