CAPITOLA, Calif. - There is a new safe place in Santa Cruz County where child victims and witnesses of crimes can be interviewed. The Safe Kids and Youth Center is being called a major milestone for the District Attorney's Office and other law enforcement agencies. When children witness or are victims of crimes, they can carry a lot of trauma with them -- and answering questions about what happened doesn't make it any easier, according to the DA's office.
District Attorney Jeff Rosell said this new center will allow trained child interview specialists to get valuable information about crimes while still being respectful and empathetic to what kids are going through.
"The idea behind this interview center is that you have various agencies come together to reduce trauma to children who have been victims of crime or witnesses to crime, and to have them be interviewed one time in a child-friendly environment," said Rosell.
The center was paid for by the county, but several cities also chipped in, including Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. The DA said the rent for the building is about $2,000 a month. They also hired one additional employee. The total cost for the center is less than $200,000, according to Debbie McHann, a trained child interview specialist with the DA's office.
Watch reporter Paul Dudley's full story above.