On February 6th and 7th of 2017, the JAYC Team traveled to Leeds, Alabama to be hosted by The Red Barn non-profit in presenting the LEO program to local law enforcement officers. The Red Barn is an organization that provides a variety of equine services to veteran, children with special needs or special circumstances and others. The Foundation has enjoyed a collaboration with this organization for three years. As usual, Joy O’Neal and her daughter Alexis were gracious hosts, feeding our team well and allowing us to use their facility and their wonderful herd of four-legged equine partners. Jaycee Dugard led the team, assisted by Margie McDonald, Dr. Rebecca Bailey, and Daniel Shook, M.A.
The first day’s workshop included officers from the Leeds Police Department, followed by the second day which included Probation officers, a game warden, a forensic interviewer, and an Assistant District Attorney. As usual, the groups were appreciative of the unique training and left feeling hope for their work. One comment: “this training focused on officers being more sympathetic and compassionate when dealing with victims of violent crimes and their families”. And further: “that his department would be more cognizant of victims and their families needing proper support from both law enforcement and social service agencies”.
Another important piece of information was shared by the game warden as we were discussing the frustration of officers when they are denied access to search outbuildings on large properties. He said: “Today was a great reminder of the fact that there is often something else going on behind the scene. And it reinforced that our job – when we come across people – is to pay better attention. One of the greatest takeaways here is that we can be more effective through teamwork. From the social workers to us, to other law enforcement and all the way up the chain, we have the responsibility to talk to one another, because we have a better opportunity to catch someone when we do.”
The Foundation looks forward to its continued affiliation with the Red Barn. To read the local news article about this event: http://b-metro.com/jaycee-dugards-next-chapter/32053/