Kristi's Kids

Nov 2, 2012 8:00 PM

CPS launches criminal investigative unit

Phoenix - A Phoenix police detective, with extensive experience dealing with crimes against children, has been tasked with improving the investigative functions of CPS. Detective Gregory McKay's team of 30 investigators (which will cover areas throughout Arizona) was authorized by the passage of HB 2721.

This is one of several results based on recommendations from the Arizona Child Safety Task Force which Kristi's Kids has followed for over a year. The law enacting McKay's team takes effect December 31, 2012.

Detective McKay has been tasked to boost the criminal investigative abilities of our CPS investigators. By bringing the law enforcement perspective to their process, they can better implement the various social services.

For example, McKay and his team would have tackled the case of 21-month-old Zinaya Flores. Beaten and starved, Zinaya's mother, aunt and grandmother are all charged with 1st degree murder. McKay's team would have stepped-in when Kiyana Higgins was still pregnant with Zinaya, already in jail on other allegations of child abuse. Maybe, with a different perspective, Zinaya could have been saved.

Or 3-month old Vanessa Martinez and her 2-year old sister, Dominique. Shortly after their parents got them back from CPS custody, Vanessa was killed. Her body was buried in the desert near Eloy. McKay and his team would have gotten involved to protect the older, surviving sister from future harm.

For McKay, there's one goal. He tells Kristi's Kids, "my number one focus; protect children." To do that, the state has determined, CPS investigators need more information and direct police involvement in some cases. McKay says, "then they can make a better assessment for the necessary social services, to the family and to the child, and make decisions as far as long term care."

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please report it. You can remain anonymous.
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