HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Several first responders came out to Total Management Services Apartments Friday morning after receiving a call about a 2-year-old wandering around alone outside.
Police say the neighbor walked the child home and there was no guardian around. Police also say there was a 1-month-old alone inside the apartment.
When police arrived there was no sign of a guardian, but they eventually did arrive. Police called HEMSI and DHR to help them assist in the investigation. As of now police have not filed any charges against the guardians, but DHR is involved.
Attorney Mark McDaniel said the police and DHR work cases like this all the time. "What the police officers see and what DHR see on a regular basis is very bad activity and actions with children. They see horrible situations. They walk in on horrible environments, so every case is different," McDaniel explained.
He said if police arrive and don't see any criminal activity happening that's when DHR is called. "If the police come up on a situation and that child has been injured there would have been an arrest. DHR will come out and look at a situation. They can say okay we are going to set up a safety plan and that lasts for 90 days," McDaniel said.
McDaniel said during those 90 days parents and guardians can go through counseling or more with DHR. He said they are going to do things to keep the family together.
He said DHR can do things without requiring families to go through the court system. "This is an art, not a science. Every case is different and it's not like one plus one equals two. It's more like one plus one may equal 20," McDaniel explained.
He said sometimes these cases look one way to the public, but said police and DHR are professionals. Both organizations make the best decision for the child.
Police say DHR will be conducting welfare checks on the two children involved. McDaniel said to his best knowledge there's no law in the state that says how old a child has to be, to be left alone.