JOPLIN, Mo. — An April tradition continues outside the Joplin Police Department.

This month is Child Abuse Prevention Month. And this morning, police officers and officials from the Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri placed 160 pinwheels in the ground.

The number represents the 160 local child abuse cases over the past year.

“Recognize the signs of things that lead up to child abuse so that we can prevent this in the future, because the kids in our community are the true victim, and we’re here to support them as best we can,” said Capt. William David, Joplin Police Department.

“Child abuse is not okay. It’s not the child’s fault because they were abused, and it’s not something that they should be ashamed of. But they should know who their trusted adults are, and then be able to disclose that information to their trusted adult,” said Matt Stewart, Children’s Center.

The pin wheel garden will remain up through the month of April.