Hi-tech System Speeds CPS, Police Communication

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Los Angeles County officials recently unveiled a new Web-based system for sharing information about suspected child abuse among police, child protection services (CPS) and prosecutors, calling it a “giant leap forward.”

Under the Electronic Suspected Child Abuse Report System (E-SCARS), when workers with the county Department of Children and Family Services enter information about a new abuse report, it is almost instantly accessible to the police agency in the child’s area. The system will speed up the process of obtaining evidence such as victims’ statements, county officials said.

In addition, CPS workers and police can use the system to update information about the investigation and to find out about previous reports involving the child or suspect.

Officials began loading data into the system last April. By the end of last month, about 28,000 reports had been entered into the system, officials said.

County District Attorney Steve Cooley told The Los Angeles Times that this is “the first such program of its kind in the nation. It’s a giant leap forward.”

E-SCARS was developed by Children and Family Services in partnership with the district attorney and sheriff, with a grant from the county’s Productivity Investment Fund.

Instructions on how to use the system, including screen shots from the software, are here.