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Cases involving children weigh heavily on detectives

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HERMISTON, Oregon – Some criminal investigations are tougher on police detectives than others. Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston says this week’s arrest of a 20-year-old Hermiston man for sex crimes against a child is one of those cases that detectives carry with them for the rest of their lives.

“Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with children especially, they’re not developed enough to know what’s going on,” he said. “These are the types of cases that show why detectives aren’t detectives for very long.”

Hermiston police spent months investigating the most recent case. It resulted in the arrest of Emerson Espinoza Alvarenga, 20. Making an arrest is important, Edmiston said, but detectives know it doesn’t undo the damage done to a child. Those cases mount up over the years.

“They can continue to push down and push down and push down, and eventually either there comes a breaking point or – most often what happens – detectives request to rotate out of investigations and back to patrol,” he said.

Edmiston also pointed out that the same is true of prosecutors who try the cases against those accused of child abuse.


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