KILLEEN, TX — Among those that walk the thin blue line are a team of investigators who tackle the most sensitive cases.
The members of the Killeen Police Department’s Special Victims Unit work tirelessly to protect the innocent and serve justice in the city.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Killeen SVU, along with the entire department, is working to draw attention to this critical cause.
“Whoever is going to come up to our unit has to have a lot of compassion, patience, and the ability to look at the worst crimes that most people don’t want to imagine ever happening,” said Det. Amanda Holtzclaw.
The team investigates domestic violence and sex crime cases, as well as offenses against the elderly, disabled and children. The special victims unit is not like what many have seen portrayed on TV.
“On TV, the crime occurs, the person is in jail the following day, and in court immediately after. It’s not that quick of a resolution for us,” said Holtzclaw.
Cases can take months or longer to build.
The team has helped solve numerous cases. Each case is something that these detectives work eagerly to crack.
One of the more recent cases stays with them after countless hours at work.
“It was a teacher. The defendant's name is Cannon. He was a kindergarten teacher and he had multiple victims. It turned into a large case that took several months, even a year for it to get finally wrapped up,” said Sgt. Tyler Mceowen.
Thomas Cannon was charged with indecency with a child by contact. He received the maximum sentence allowable by law, up to 40 years.
It's cases like this one that showcase their commitment to putting a stop to child abuse.
“We’re on the fight lines of that fight,” said Mceowen.
Child abuse prevention is something everyone can help in ending. For more information on how you can help, visit the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website.