On September 1st, 2018 District Attorney John Best created a multi-disciplinary team to address cases in Runnels County involving crimes against children. The team has had success and helped with the prosecution of cases. Best formed the team so that they could concentrate on performing timely and thorough investigations. The team consists of medical professionals, counselors, attorneys and investigators.
Best and the courts have made good use of the investigators who partner with other entities. The team recently helped with the investigation into former youth minister Clinton Brackett who was convicted and sentenced to 8 years in prison 2 weeks ago, “On September 1, 2018, my office worked closely with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Greater West Texas (CAC) in San Angelo to create a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) in Runnels County to coordinate services for the victims of child crimes and their families. The MDT is a collaborative effort between the District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement, the Department of Family and Protective Services, and the CAC. The MDT consists of the District Attorney, representatives from the Runnels County Sheriff’s Office, the Ballinger Police Department, the Winters Police Department, and the Miles Police Department. The MDT also includes nurses, counselors, and staff from the CAC. The goal of the program is to promote effective communication, coordination and collaboration during all stages of child abuse cases, and promote timely access to MDT/CAC services for all children in Runnels County. The program also allows the Hope House (which operates under the umbrella of the CAC) to coordinate mental health services, family advocacy services, court preparation, case review and forensic interviews for families. Our office will continue to fight for the children we serve with all of the resources we can muster.”
Best said that the team’s work is instrumental in solving and prosecuting cases, “I believe the multi-disciplinary approach is invaluable in cases involving child crimes. Working together with team members involved in different aspects of an investigation helps to maximize our resources and ensure a complete and thorough investigation is conducted in each case. The team works great together and everyone’s input helps to ensure that by the time I receive a case, hopefully, it has been properly and fully investigated. Communication is essential to maximize investigative efforts and I am appreciative of all the members of the MDT for their willingness to participate for the benefit of the children of Runnels County.”
The team continues to pursue cases involving children and the approach doesn’t stop at the trial. The MDT offers counseling and other services to the victim and the victim’s family to help them through the difficult times. The victim and family are given information on the process and kept apprised of the progress of the case and what to expect next.