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Mayor: Children’s box “will save lives”

Mayor: Children’s box “will save lives”

Wayne County now has a safe place to anonymously and legally drop off children.

A Safe Haven Children’s Box was entered June 20 at Richmond Fire Station 1, 101 S. Fifth St. The large black box on the east exterior wall of the station is the 242nd installed in the nation and the 128th in Indiana as of April 2016.

According to Woodburn-based Safe Haven, 50 infants have been surrendered in baby boxes since 2017. The organization also offers a crisis line (1-866-992-2291) for struggling mothers, which has helped to the arrangement of over 150 children. the person surrenders.

Children who are surrendered are adopted by families registered as intending foster families, according to Safe Haven. The Department of Family Services coordinates adoptions.

A baby blocking a laser for a period of time sets off an alarm inside the fire station, contacts the county’s Emergency Communications Center and notifies select fire personnel. Fire personnel and Richmond Police Department personnel can pick up the child.

The Safe Haven Children’s Box was installed on the east side of the Richmond Fire Department’s Station 1 at 101 S. Fifth St. Photo by Mike Emery

Mayor Ron Oler said a community effort was needed to purchase and install the baby box.

“What they did here today will save lives and nothing is more important than that,” Oler said.

Eliott LaRue, RFD chaplain, said the baby box will most likely be used.

“We just hope that if and when it is, that child will be taken care of and find a loving home and live a long and happy life,” LaRue said.

Safe Haven’s Mariah Betz then declared the box open in front of about three dozen spectators.

According to Safe Haven, other baby box locations nearby include:

  • Connersville Fire Station 4, 124 S. Fountain St., Connersville.
  • New Castle Fire Department, 229 N. Main St., New Castle.
  • Winchester Fire Department, 113 E. Washington St., Winchester.
  • Rushville Fire Department, 120 N. Perkins St., Rushville.
  • Greenville Township Fire Department, 1401 Sater St., Greenville, Ohio.

A version of this article appeared in the June 26, 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.