Det. Debra McKay is like most of the detectives with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office – she is steadfast in her efforts to help victims of crimes and bring perpetrators to justice. She works relentlessly, often times behind the scenes as she conducts a thorough investigation. But there’s something special about her tenacity to help victims of child abuse, and today, she was recognized for all that she does.
Jessica Milan Miller, CEO of Gingerbread House (Bossier/Caddo Children’s Advocacy Center), and Meghan Johnston, Forensic Interviewer/Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator, honored Det. McKay at a luncheon ceremony Thursday at the North Louisiana Criminalistics Lab in Shreveport. She was presented as one of three persons to be named Multidisciplinary Team Member of the Year for her unwavering dedication and devoted service to child abuse victims in northwest Louisiana.
As Meghan introduced Det. McKay, she said, “She is a committed detective and a leader that is so easy to look up to. She has years of experience in her field, and she is the first person to volunteer her experience as a way to help other detectives. She is an advocate for child victims and their families and goes beyond her due diligence to make sure they are getting the justice they deserve.”
She went on to say how Det. McKay is a “true example of what can be accomplished when our team is truly united in the fight against child abuse. Not only is she a consistent and dependable member of our MDT and her agency, she also had the highest number of children brought to Gingerbread House in 2019.”
Comments from the staff members with Gingerbread House about Det. McKay included:
- “She is always courteous with the families and prompt to all of her forensic interviews.”
- “She has great follow-through and can often be seen helping to train newer deputies.”
- “She is a fighter for children who have been victims of abuse. She shows compassion to the victims and their caregivers. She is a team player- always available to help, answer questions, and is extremely helpful with getting stats.”
Such words were quite humbling for Det. McKay.
“It was awesome,” she announced. “I’m just proud of everything with the Gingerbread House and the work they and our MDT do…I’m really glad to be a part of it.”
The other two honorees were Det. DeAndre Belle with the Shreveport Police Department and Siera Cocherell with the Department of Children & Family Services.
The Gingerbread House Multidisciplinary Team consists of 25 local agencies involved in child abuse cases throughout northwest Louisiana.
In 2019 at the Gingerbread House:
▪ 861 children received forensic interviews, multidisciplinary investigations, child life, and family advocacy services, averaging 72 forensic interviews per month.
▪ 184 child victims and their non-offending caregivers received counseling services.
▪ Over 26,362 children and adults participated in 466 educational outreach sessions.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, all services continue to be offered free of charge to child victims of abuse and their families.