April’s Community Spotlight Member: Deputy Jimmy White
As April is recognized as National Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County would like to recognize the Child Advocacy Center’s Sheriff Department Liaison of the Prevention Program, Deputy White, for all that he has continuously contributed to the Center. In 2010, Deputy White started with the Personal Safety and Awareness Program which teaches children in a positive, non-threatening way the information they need to protect themselves from sexual assault. The Program is taught in two, one-hour sessions by a combination of the Child Advocacy Center’s Prevention Coordinator, Amanda Overland (pictured above), and Deputy White from the Sheriff’s Department. The Program helps children identify people they could talk to if they had a problem, learn how to avoid dangerous situations, and know what to do to keep themselves safe.
As a recipient of CAC Lapeer’s 2012 Volunteer Award, Deputy White has contributed much of his time to not only the Lapeer Community but also with the Center. When Deputy White isn’t patrolling Lapeer County, coordinating Safetyville, or assisting victims, he is educating children in the schools on how to protect themselves and helping kids establish trust with the police and other “safe” community agencies. Deputy White states, “This program plays a fundamental role in changing the foundation of community trust at a young age.” According to Deputy White, even though sexual or physical abuse doesn’t happen to every child, if the Prevention program can give even one child a chance to speak up, then the time he has put into this program is absolutely worth it.
One of the biggest joys for Deputy White is the reassurance that the impact of this program is hitting home to the families. Deputy White recalls a time when a child saw him outside of the classroom and began tapping his parent’s shoulders and whispering in their ear. The parents finally asked, “Are you Deputy White?” Deputy White recalls, “That excitement and attention is something that not every Deputy typically gets. It is knowing that the children will remember me for the rest of their lives that provides one of the biggest rewards.”
Deputy White firmly believes in the mission of the Advocacy Center and its role in providing protection and safety to children and families, he states, “It makes the force behind these issues that much stronger.” Deputy White believes working with CAC Lapeer helps show children and families that law enforcement isn’t just there to arrest the bad guys, but they are also safe sources that children can go to if they need help.
The Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Deputy White for being a driving force in lighting the way for a child’s future.