Dayton police recently implemented policy changes to address how it conducts child welfare checks in response to the 2019 death of a 10-year-old boy.
The department is now mandating that officers complete a memo when they are called to do a welfare check in addition to contacting Montgomery County Children Services. There also must be additional follow-up by police personnel if the result of a welfare check is “no answer” at the door, a police spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The changes follow an administrative review by the department into how Dayton police responded to calls in reference to alleged abuse of Takoda Collins before he died. The boy died in December after what authorities are calling “extreme abuse.”
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Three people are charged in connection to the the case, including Takoda’s father, Al-Mutahan McLean, his father’s girlfriend Amanda Hinze and the girlfriend’s sister Jennifer Ebert.
A Dayton Daily News investigation uncovered that police were called to Takoda’s home multiple times before his death. Records showed that a Dayton Public Schools employee contacted police around noon May 11, 2018, to check on the welfare of Takoda after “she had to call Children Services” May 9, 2018, “to report abuse.”
The worker also told law enforcement McLean had called the school saying Takoda was sick, and she was concerned he “may be being abused, and not actually sick.”
About 20 minutes after the school worker called police, a caseworker with Children Services also asked police to do a welfare check on Takoda, dispatch records show.
Police noted in the dispatch records that there was “no answer at the door” when they responded and the call was closed.
Dayton police went back to the home more than a year later when Takoda’s mother called and asked for police to check on his welfare. Robin Collins told police she believed McLean “is actively abusing him” and asked that officers speak to the child alone, dispatch records show.
Takoda’s mother said McLean yelled at the child, “saying he hates the child,” and added, if Takoda’s mother “does not come to get him, something bad is going to happen,” the records say.
The dispatch center logs noted that “Takoda is being taken care of and still has behavioral issues.”
There’s no indication that officers spoke to Takoda alone, nor was Montgomery County Children Services notified, according to a statement from Dayton police.
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The dispatch center logs also noted that Takoda’s mother “was given no custodial rights, but he still allows Takoda to speak with her.” Dispatchers attempted to follow up with Takoda’s mother by phone after the welfare check, “but there was no answer.”
The Dayton police changes come on the heels of Montgomery County prosecutor recommendations asking for authorities to change the way they investigate child abuse cases. Those recommendations include more thorough and complete investigations, that allegations of sexual or physical abuse should be reported to law enforcement and information should be shared between agencies.