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Three Items from the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center

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I. The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC), Verizon, and the Walton and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Offices are working together on a class for parents only about smart devices and how they can better protect their kids. The class is FREE and open to the public Monday, March 26, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pierce Family Children’s Advocacy Center, located at 336 College Avenue in DeFuniak Springs.

 

Instructors will provide a 30-minute lecture on apps and device security, followed by a Q&A session for the attendees. Handouts will also be provided covering all the subjects discussed. RSVP required by March 23 to ensure supplies and handouts are available for attendees. Email Danielle@eccac.org or call 850-833-9237, ext. 233.

 

“We are excited about this new program to help parents,” says ECCAC CEO Julie Hurst. “Anything ECCAC can do to raise awareness of child abuse is so important for the well-being of our children, particularly with technology and the vulnerability it can create to put kids in dangerous situations with predators. We will be rolling this program out quarterly throughout the region in order to help parents be better prepared and give them the technology know-how to protect their kids.”

 

From left—ECCAC’s Julie Hurst, Chelsea Fox and Kim Henderson with Baytowne Wharf’s Julie Stuckey, Leighann Elliott and Alan Meyers.

II. The Village of Baytowne Wharf recently present a $3,000 check to the ECCAC, from Baytowne’s recent beer festival.
“We appreciate Baytowne’s generous donation,” says Ms. Hurst. “This will so help in the process helping to heal our kids.”

 

III. Captain Eric Aden from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office recently joined the ECCAC board of directors.

 

Born on Eglin Air Force Base, Capt. Aden is the son of an aerospace engineer, pilot and teacher. He has lived in Shalimar his entire life, with the exception of the period he spent attending Florida State University where he graduated with a BS in Criminology.

 

Joining the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office in 1995, Capt. Aden has served as a patrolman, resource officer, sergeant, and lieutenant. His duties include overseeing the Posse, part-time Reserve Deputies, the Watch/Patrol Commanders, and the three airports in Okaloosa County.

 

He also served as a member of the U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force from 2010 to 2015 and is actively involved in the community. Capt. Aden was the 2014 United Way Volunteer of the Year, has assisted in raising funds for United Way, and has served on the boards of the local Kiwanis Club and Republican Club.

 

“Public safety and public trust is very important to me,” says the longtime law enforcement officer. “I enjoy serving the community I grew up in and have been working with ECCAC for the past two decades. It is my goal to represent law enforcement and the Sheriff’s Office for ECCAC and help prosecute offenders and protect the community’s children.”

 

The ECCAC provides services in a child-friendly environment to help identify, treat and support children in abusive situations. The nonprofit helps prevent child abuse through education, protects child victims from future abuse, and provides resources to restore the lives of the impacted child and the child’s family.

 

ECCAC serves Okaloosa and Walton counties and houses representatives from the Florida Department of Children and Families, Child Protection Team, State Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement, licensed mental health counselors, and ECCAC’s staff and volunteers. Learn more at ECCAC.org. If you suspect abuse, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.

– Kay Phelan
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