Initiative between Police, CPS, and community may have helped save child

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
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PHOENIX, Ariz. --  A 10 year old girl was rescued Tuesday from a home authorities described as "being in squalor," but Phoenix Police may never have been called if it hadn't been for an initiative between officers, Child Protective Services, and the community.

An observant member of the community called officers about suspicious activity by one of the girl's parents outside the house. The caller indicated to officers that she was also worried about the child inside the house, but that she hadn't seen any injuries, or heard any commotions. 

"If something is going on and there is a concern, by all means, someone should call.  It doesn't hurt to call, but it can hurt not to call, absolutely," said Deidre Calcoat of CPS.

During the course of their investigation, officers said they found drug paraphernalia, narcotics, lack of food, pornography in plain view, and other deplorable living conditions in the home.

Phoenix police officer James Holmes tells 3TV that the arrests of Sharon Roadlander and Jeremy Mountain may never have happened without the tipster's help, a direct result of a grass-roots effort between CPS and the police department to help the community be proactive.  It's, in part, called "beat responsibility."

"What this means is that you're assigned to a certain area everyday, and when you're outside of chasing the radio, going call to call, we encourage our officers to get out and speak with citizens.  When they do that, we empower our citizens to tell us what's going on in their neighborhood," said Holmes.

If you call police, or simply stop an officer who works in your area, you can give them information anonymously.  If the case goes to court, you don't necessarily have to go too.