Public Safety

Prosecutor receives service award from group dedicated to protecting children from maltreatment, neglect

Jason Besler, Assistant Linn County Attorney, receives the Outstanding Service Award from Kerstin Marnin (left), Rosanne Van Cura (background) and other members of the Iowa Professional Society on the Abuse of Children in the Linn County Attorney’s office in Cedar Rapids on Friday, March 9, 2018. Besler serves as legal adviser for IAPSAC, which aims to help professionals working with children who have been abused or neglected. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Jason Besler, Assistant Linn County Attorney, receives the Outstanding Service Award from Kerstin Marnin (left), Rosanne Van Cura (background) and other members of the Iowa Professional Society on the Abuse of Children in the Linn County Attorney’s office in Cedar Rapids on Friday, March 9, 2018. Besler serves as legal adviser for IAPSAC, which aims to help professionals working with children who have been abused or neglected. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Assistant Linn County Jason Besler is the first recipient of the Outstanding Service Award given by the Iowa Professional Society on the Abuse of Children for his dedication to help and protect children, and his invaluable input on legal issues.

Dr. Regina Butteris, IPSAC vice president and also a doctor with St. Luke’s Child Protection Center in Hiawatha, said she nominated Besler because of his contributions to the group as an active member, despite his busy schedule at the Linn County Attorney’s Office for the last year. He also has provided feedback about how to improve the state chapter, an affiliate established in 2012 of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and legal advice on the group’s Mandatory Reporter’s Training position paper.

Butteris said Besler’s feedback led to changes in the paper, which improved the final copy.

The award was established last year to recognize professionals such as Besler, who “demonstrate extraordinary dedication and efforts on behalf of children,” according to the service award criteria. The recipient also must participate in the mission and goals of the organization to promote collaboration among different professionals working to protect children and promote education and research on child abuse and neglect.

Besler was presented with the award on Friday at the Linn County Attorney’s Office in the courthouse.

“I was honored, humbled, surprised and thankful to receive this award,” Besler said. “I have a particular heart for kids and this is such a good organization and people involved are just great. It’s a positive group a good way to start your day.”

Besler said he is always willing to help out on projects like the Mandatory Reporter’s position paper and provide legal advice and input from his perspective as a prosecutor.

A subcommittee was formed last year to study this issue because members were concerned about the lack of training, quality of curriculum offered and how often the training is conducted for mandatory reporters — teachers, law enforcement officers, nurses and others who work with children, according to the position paper.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Besler said the mandatory reporter’s state law is confusing, and this paper provides some good ideas to address training, which likely will help these employees meet their obligations.

Anyone who works with children and is interested in becoming an Iowa Professional Society on the Abuse of Children member, should contact Kristen.Kasner@unitypoint.org or call her at (319) 368-5617.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.