Assigning Human Services police officers to the Newark and Camden offices of the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services last year proved so beneficial that the state has expanded the police presence to 22 DYFS offices, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. By July, 30 more officers and sergeants will join the 40 already assigned to the child welfare agency, Human Services Commissioner James Davy announced.
“Oftentimes, our caseworkers go into dangerous neighborhoods, fearing for their own safety,” Davy said. He added that the “public backlash against DYFS increased” after the state admitted making mistakes in a case involving 7-year-old Faheem Williams, who was found dead in a Newark basement on Jan. 5, 2003. The Human Services police have helped locate 1,600 parents and 1,500 children, made 4,000 contacts with local police departments, escorted workers to 2,000 site visits and assisted caseworkers 330 times removing children from dangerous homes, Davy said.