Philadelphia is putting together a super group of sexual abuse investigators who will all work in one place, Mayor Michael Nutter’s office announced Tuesday.
The new facility on 300 E. Hunting Park Ave. will be a Godsend for the city, even while becoming associated with the lowest sort of human behavior, officials say.
Members of the Philadelphia Police Department Special Victims Unit, the Department of Human Services Sexual Abuse Investigations Unit and the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance – along with staff from the District Attorney’s Office – will all be working together there.
It’s apparently a triumph of common sense over bureaucracy. Mayor Nutter said it’s taken more than a decade to bring together agencies that are all trying to do the same thing – support and protect victims of sex crimes.
Keeping everything at the same location should mean the investigation itself will be less of an ordeal for young victims who have already been through enough, DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose said.
By having all investigators centralized, “children will no longer have to repeatedly relive the events of their assault,” Ambrose said.
Plus their victims and their guardians won’t have to bounce all over town, according to District Attorney Seth Williams.
“This will have a tremendous impact on all the mothers and children in Philadelphia who up until now had to navigate their way to the DA’s office, DHS, Special Victims, and PCA by juggling public transit schedules,” Williams said in a press release.
But the new arrangement won’t start for awhile yet. As of now, the mayor merely signed the order Tuesday to combine these groups. The Hunting Park building itself still needs to be renovated, with an extra 10,000 square feet added on.
This should all be completed near the end of this year, or early in 2013, officials said.