After an emotional debate, the City Council this week voted to give Turning Point Family Services $34,000 to pay for a child abuse counselor for the remainder of the fiscal year.
The vote was 3 to 2 to allocate that amount for the Garden Grove-based counseling group, which serves nine western and central Orange County cities. Councilmen J. Tilman Williams and Robert F. Dinsen voted no, instead supporting a city contribution of $16,000 as recommended by city staff.
Councilman Francis Kessler, a former police chief, noted that the difference would pay for child abuse counseling.
"It's abolishing the program," Kessler said of the $16,000. "There's no way the police will be able to deal with the child abuse that has occurred in Garden Grove, and is occurring in Garden Grove and will occur in Garden Grove."
In many child abuse cases, police take a victim into protective custody. Turning Point, with its subsidiary program Amparo, a shelter for children and teen-agers, takes some of that responsibility.