Mesa County leaders say our area has a problem with child abuse.
In the last year, atleast five children have died as a result. Now the county is fighting back.
Several agencies are teaming up to spread awareness, and they say the need for informational workshops is now more important than ever. The latest meeting is Thursday evening from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the Old County Courthouse.
Just last week 24 year old Brandon Moore was sentenced to life in prison for the beating death of his one year old stepson. During the investigation of Logan Acord's death District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said it was the worst case of child abuse he had every seen.
In February 22 year old Morgan Hite was arrested. She's accused of giving birth to her baby boy then putting him in her parents closet at a Grand Junction home. She'll face a judge in October.
In response to cases like these Mesa County has put together classes to teach the public. They bring in speakers every other month to talk about the signs of child abuse and how concerned citizens can report them.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Tammy Eret says she hopes classes like these will help keep children safe. Eret says, "We always hope that we'll reduce child abuse, but in the interim we definitely hope that more people become aware, and they're not scared to step up and report it or stop it when they see it."
Eret says county leaders have had workshops with teachers and school officials just in time for the start of the new school year to help educators keep their eyes open for any warning signs.
The next workshop will take place there on October 16th at 5:30 p.m.