Each year in November, law enforcement agencies statewide participate in "No Shave for the Brave," a fundraiser and awareness campaign for Child Advocacy Centers (CACs), where specially trained staff work to support juveniles who have suffered abuse. This year, Jefferson County law enforcement officers are embracing the scruff to support Victoria's House CAC, a program offered through the Children's Home Society of West Virginia.
Lt. Ben Williams with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department serves as the Resource Officer for Jefferson High School (JHS) and works firsthand with young people. He said that before CACs, interviewing young victims was no different than interviewing an adult suspect. He said that has changed now.
"With our CACs, we are able to gain information through a more trauma-informed way. Focused on the well-being of the juvenile and in hopes they only have to relive the event once in telling their story."
Lt. Williams said the CACs have expanded their reach over the past several years to assist juveniles after trauma and help with their recovery.
Lt. Williams, who is sporting a beard himself, said this is the 10th year the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has participated in "No Shave for the Brave."
"Not only are we participating, but we were the founding agency that grew this program across the state," Lt. Williams said.
Lt. Williams said the sheriff's department and CAC lost two members who were part of the driving forces behind the effort.
"The CAC lost Victoria Slater-Madert, their former director and a Jefferson High School graduate (2001), and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department lost Captain David Colbert."
Lt. Williams said both were instrumental in starting this fundraising and awareness campaign.
"We want to make this year the best for them," he said.
Agencies across the state wave their usual dress code to participate in November, with deputies and officers growing beards to draw attention. Visit https://2023noshave.causevox.c... to earn more or make a donation!