DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Officials from across the county came together Monday to educate the public about the signs of child abuse.

April is National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month. Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck, along with other county officials, discussed how the public can report those signs to authorities.

Dayton Police Chief Kamran Afzal said that children, the most defenseless part of our society, are abused far too often.

“It should be a number one priority to make sure that the most vulnerable are not being victimized by anyone that they know,” Afzal said.

According to the Children Services Division, in 2022 there were 2,261 cases of physical abuse and 1,801 cases of neglect. While still higher than the county would like, that number is down from previous years.

This is something that Craig Rickett, the director of Montgomery County Children Services Division, says he commends his staff for, who works tirelessly, especially through the pandemic.

“You know, if you look at specifically the last three years with the pandemic, with staffing issues worldwide, regardless of fields, they’ve really stepped up their game,” Rickett said. “It’s because of them that we’re able to fulfill our mission to Montgomery County.”

Officials say if you see signs of child abuse, speak up and give them a call at 224-KIDS.