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Posted: November 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Children's center to receive CPD funds

Seized drug money to purchase equipment

 Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton received permission from the Covington City Council Monday night to use seized drug money to assist in purchasing equipment for A Child's Voice, the child advocacy center servicing the Alcovy Circuit.
 The center, which serves Newton, Walton and surrounding counties, is designed to work with children who are believed to be victims of sexual and/or physical abuse, according to District Attorney Ken Wynne, who also serves on the board of the center. The center employees are specially trained to provide forensic examinations and interviews specifically geared towards children and performed in a child-friendly environment in an effort to lesson trauma for the child. Prior to the center opening in Newton County, children had to be taken to Atlanta to be interviewed and examined, which experts say could further traumatize them.
 As of Oct. 1 a temporary location has been opened in Newton County, but ground has been broken on a facility in Loganville that will service children of the circuit. Ideally the new location will open its doors Jan. 1, according Wynne.
 The money from CPD is the most recent donation the group has received and Cotton has pledged $20,000 worth of equipment to the center, which will be purchased with the seized funds. According to federal stipulations, seized drug money can only be used to purchase equipment and can take anywhere from several months to a year to make its way back to the CPD.
 "This was an opportunity to support an organization that directly supports law enforcement," Cotton said.
For more information about child advocacy centers visit Children's Advocacy Centers of Georgia's Web site at www.cacga.org.
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