Pinwheels planting for Child Abuse Prevention Month
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A group of children with the Colorado Springs Conservatory sung about home April 1 then planted more than 200 pinwheels in front of the Conservatory to mark the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Photo courtesy of El Paso County

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The Colorado Springs Police Department, Fountain Police Department, and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will host the fifth annual Pikes Peak Regional Law Enforcement Teen Academy June 3-7.

The Teen Academy provides young adults with a unique opportunity to learn about the operations of regional law enforcement agencies in El Paso County. Some of the courses will include jail operations, SWAT, K-9, the Explosives unit, criminal investigations, and search and rescue. Participants will also tour the secure areas within the Criminal Justice Center (county jail), the evidence facility, and courtrooms at the Terry R. Harris Judicial Complex.

The Academy will run June 3-7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southeast & Armed Services YMCA, 2190 Jet Wing Drive.

Interested applicants must be between the ages of 13-17 by May 15 to be eligible. Applicants must also be El Paso County residents and currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a school in El Paso County. Applications must be printed, completed, and received by May 15 at 3 p.m. Please note, the “Academy Participation Liability Waiver and Indemnification Agreement” must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public. Notary Public services for the Teen Academy may be obtained at any of the CSPD police stations at no cost.

For additional information or questions, contact Officer J. Kuhn at 444-7410 or

The application can be found at


The sound of young voices singing joyfully about home April 1 signaled the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

A large group of children with the Colorado Springs Conservatory performed the song “Home” as the Department of Human Services, County Commissioners and others from the community gathered to mark the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month. “Home” highlights the need for 100 new foster homes in El Paso County and there will be a robust recruitment effort in April.

“It is always about the kids,” said Linda Weis, Colorado Springs Conservatory founding CEO. “We stand here shoulder to shoulder for kids, elevating the message of taking care of our children.”

About 50 children have been practicing the song, and young singers will perform at several events around the County this month.

The event at the Conservatory concluded with the planting of more than 200 pinwheels. Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel in 2008 as the national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention. The pinwheels serve as the reminder of the happy, playful childhoods desired for all children.

“It takes diligence and care to save the fragility of a happy life,” said Commissioner Cami Bremer. “I want to thank the community for caring so much.”

The El Paso County Department of Human Services received more than 16,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in 2018.

“The Department of Human Services strives to protect children and help families create safe, happy homes,” said Julie Krow, El Paso County Department of Human Services executive director.

The long-term effects of child abuse and neglect are felt by the whole community, and need to be addressed by the entire community.

“We want what is best for our children, and that means working together to strengthen families,” said Commissioner Stan VanderWerf. “It takes all of us working together to make our community the safest it can be for children.”

Communities across the state are planting pinwheel gardens and wearing blue as the sign of collective commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect.

“The Department of Human Services cannot prevent child abuse and neglect on our own,” Krow said. “We need all of you to help get this important work done.”

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