State, local agencies gather for child homicide conference

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Law enforcement agencies from across the state gather for a conference on child homicide.

“The impact that a death of a child has on any of us is pretty significant, and so it’s critical to help investigators understand how to work through that,” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said.

The statewide conference held at the West Tennessee Regional Training Center will last three days and host 150 investigators from across the state.

“Lots of times as an investigator, you go in and you’re working one of these, and you see that child, and if you have a child that same age or close to it, it actually has a very big impression on you about, ‘this could be my child,'” Madison County Sheriff John Mehr said.

The conference aims to help investigators learn more about the information they have from the moment the 911 call is made.

“The first thing they’ll learn is the importance of the 911 call and critical information that can be gleaned off of that call, all the way through the arrival on scene, the investigation on scene, and the investigation that follows after that,” Rausch said.

Attendees have the opportunity to network, which will help them exchange ideas and learn from other agencies.

“I think learning from other officers’ experience, learning from their errors, is going to be a huge help for us,” Haywood County Sheriff’s Office Detective Deana Sanford said. “The evidence collection part when you first get on scene is so critical.”

The class will also address prosecution of child homicide cases.

The course will continue through Friday afternoon.

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