MONTPELIER (AP) -- A new report says Vermont’s special police units that investigate abuse saw 945 cases of child sexual abuse in fiscal year 2013, which ended last June -- down from 1046 in fiscal year 2012.
The report filed with the Legislature this week shows that Special Investigation Units worked with 1,414 Vermonters who were victims of abuse or in high-risk situations, and 1,164 were children.
The report says over half all reported child victims are 12 or younger.
Vermont Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/1eE6LM7 ) that the Legislature required the start-up of the Special Investigation Units in 2005 -- with plans to have them across the state by 2009.
Bram Kranichfeld, the executive director of the Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs, says 12 units now serve all 14 counties in Vermont.
"The resource really didn’t exist on a consistent basis prior to the last few years," he said. "They have become more of a solid entity within each one of their respective communities, and we continue to support that development."
The units are supported by state grants.
Between fiscal years 2013 and 2014, the state gave $2.8 million to the SIUs and associated law enforcement agencies, to improve their investigative capacity.