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story.lead_photo.caption Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista Bella Vista police and fire staff stand with Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County personnel, Eclectic Teaching Consortium of Northwest Arkansas students and Mayor Peter Christie after placing pinwheels in front of the police and fire departments' main entrances.

A colorful reminder sits outside the Bella Vista Police Department for child abuse awareness month.

The 353 pinwheels each represent a confirmed case of child abuse in Benton County in 2018.

This is a slight decrease from last 2017, which saw 380 confirmed cases and 2016, which saw 439 confirmed cases, but the total number of cases has increased.

2018 saw a total of 2,462 cases, while 2017 had 2,359 and 2016 had 2,401.

Kathy Morrison, director of finance and IT for the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County, said she's been with the center since it started 19 years ago and Bella Vista has participated every year.

"We love that they support and partner with us to better serve kids," she said. "We give children a safe place to have a voice."

It's important for kids to feel safe.

Karis Bouillon, a counselor with the advocacy center, said the center continues to work with families beyond the courtroom.

"We stay in contact with those families and build relationships that last years," she said.

General News on 04/10/2019

Print Headline: PD Places pinwheels highlighting area child abuse

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