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Victims of child abuse to be better served with new center in Iron Co.

Posted at 6:46 AM, Oct 19, 2023

CEDAR CITY, Utah — As Iron County grows, the community wants to ensure child abuse victims have a safe place to recover and receive treatment.

That's why they recently broke ground on a brand new and improved Children's Justice Center.

“After a long period of time trying to find the right place to put the center, I don’t think we could get any better than this," explained Iron County Commissioner Mike Bleak.

Bleak used to be a police officer in Cedar City before he retired. Back when he was a cop, he said the original center in the county was just a converted closet in the police department.

“We’re going to have room not only for our current needs but a medical clinic with a mental health component, with interview rooms and office space but also some training space for our multidisciplinary teams and law enforcement," he explained.

As the county's population explodes, community members say the new and improved facility comes at the perfect time.

“Our commitment to the children we serve has never been stronger," reflected Jennifer Davis, President of Children's Justice Center Friends. "We are more determined than ever to ensure they have a safe, secure and private space where their voices can be heard and justice can be served.”

The center is already a community-wide effort as Enoch City donated the land while local construction companies are donating equipment and manpower.

"This is really the clearing house facility where lives start to be changed, where kids can get their story out and they can tell their truth and they can get justice," Bleak added. "But on top of that, there’s also the resources for them to have follow-up mental health care, follow-up medical care.”

When it's complete, the new center will be 6,000 square feet that officials believe will serve the county for decades to come.