Chief Arnold R. Downing – Worcester County

Name: Chief Arnold R. Downing
Service Site: Board Member, Worcester County
Length of Service: 7 years
Background: Arnold is the Chief of Police for the Berlin Police Department in Worcester County. He has an Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and deviance and a Master’s degree in public administration. He is an instructor for the police training commission and academy on cultural diversity and review and reporting of hate crimes in local law enforcement. He is a founding member of the Child Advocacy Center, the umbrella organization for CASA in Worcester County. He and his wife are members of the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and he serves as president of the church board.
What is your vision for CASA?
My vision for CASA is to see it continue to grow and expand in understanding the needs of abused and traumatized children. I want for us to continue to immerse ourselves in being exemplary advocates for children so we find children homes faster and ease the burdens of the system on children. In the past, many times grandparents and family members intervened in the lives of children during troubling times, but these avenues are becoming difficult. This further reiterates the work of CASA as an invaluable asset in these situations. We must continue to train, recruit, and support caring adults in filling the void that so many children experience in the child welfare system.
What do you say to other African Americans thinking about volunteering as an advocate for children?
We must take care of our children. In my job, I was faced with a case of a deceased child where doctors told me that the child endured the worst child abuse that they’witnessed in their careers and with two surviving siblings, I felt a pull to sprung into action. From there, the Child Advocacy Center  was founded and our work continues. I share this story to relay that one individual can make a huge difference and sometimes it takes a dramatic event to spring us forward. I look forward to continuing in our mission to support children and encourage other African Americans to do the same. The need is great but the rewards are even greater.

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