HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Kids Hub recognized the Hattiesburg Police Department Friday morning for an officer's observations that may have saved an eight-year-old boy's life.
The Child Advocacy Center recognized the department before a meeting with the Forrest County Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Members Friday morning.
MDT meets twice a month in Hattiesburg to staff new cases and discuss incidents in the county.
The special recognition came after an officer responded to a domestic disturbance call earlier this month.
Officer Na'Aman Holmes responded to the call, where he observed a young boy, the woman involved in the call's son, with injuries on his face and legs. Police said the eight-year-old later told officers his mother's boyfriend struck him with an electrical cord.
The boy was transported to Forrest General Hospital with severe physical trauma to his back, face and legs. London Wright, 28, of Hattiesburg was arrested and charged with one count of felony abuse or battery of a child.
Officer Holmes was unable to attend the appreciation ceremony, but Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker and Lt. E. Allen Murray were in attendance.
"It doesn't matter what kind of case it is, what kind of call it is. We always look for signs that it may be beyond a call when we respond," said Lt. Murray. "With this particular case here, we are happy the officer went beyond the call and was able to save a child."
Didi Ellis, the Executive Director for the Kids Hub, said the Multi-Disciplinary Team handles about 180 to 200 new cases of child abuse in Forrest County per month.
"If they are not paying attention, it can easily be missed and kids could be subjected to further trauma," said Ellis. "For me, I really am thankful for the officer paying attention because it allowed the rest of us to do what we do best and that's to make sure we can do what we do best and that's make sure that kids are okay."
The MDT is made up of several agencies, including law enforcement, child protection services, youth court personnel, victim advocates and more. Ellis said the team is able to start from the point of investigation when it comes to helping the child and non-offending family members.
"When officers pay attention to things that are happening to kids, then our Multi-disciplinary Team can react and respond in such a way that creates a whole system of individuals that are protecting that child and providing services to that child," Ellis said.