PA Family Support Alliance (PFSA), the state’s leader in child abuse protection, awarded Huntingdon Borough Police Chief Charles Streightiff with a Blue Ribbon Champion for Safe Kids Award Tuesday.
The recognition is given annually to four individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support and protect Pennsylvania’s children.
State Sen. Judy Ward also presented a senate proclamation to Streightiff during the ceremony at the state Capitol Building in Harrisburg Tuesday, honoring him for his efforts and accomplishments.
Streightiff was recognized in front of a packed audience of lawmakers, media, child advocates and students in the Capitol Rotunda. It is the first time a law enforcement officer has been chosen to receive the award.
Throughout his law enforcement career, Streightiff has been well-known in the community because of his tireless work to ensure local children and families in need have access to services and programs. He actively participates in monthly meetings with the Huntingdon County Children and Youth Services and local child advocacy centers. He has been trained in forensic interviewing, unexplained child death investigations, fatality and near-fatality review training and a victim-centered approach to investigations that ensures additional resources and teams within the community are in coordination with each other.
PFSA president and CEO Angela Liddle said Huntingdon’s children are safer because of Streightiff’s dedication and steadfast commitment to them.
“He is truly on the front lines protecting his community, and we are incredibly grateful for his leadership and service,” Liddle said. “As a law enforcement officer, he not only stops child abuse, but is focused on ensuring victims have sufficient support and protection. He has also made it his priority to invest in prevention efforts.”
Liddle complimented Streightiff for being “a humble man with a large heart who is focused on helping others, especially kids.”
Upon accepting the award, Streightiff thanked the PFSA for recognizing him.
“This is a very meaningful honor for me,” Streightiff said, thanking former Huntingdon County Children and Youth Services director Shannon Walborn for nominating him. “One of my first projects to help with the investigation of child abuse reports involved working with Walborn developing procedures for us to work together on these cases.”
He said that system is now as a model by other agencies.
He also praised the cooperation of various county and regional agencies that work together on several continuing efforts to prevent child abuse in the area, and to investigate cases of alleged child abuse.
“Our commitment is to continue working for the children of Huntingdon Borough and Huntingdon County, doing everything we can to ensure their health and welfare, and to support children during an investigative process,” Streightiff said.
He told The Daily News he is honored to be selected for the recognition.
“But this is not an individual award,” said Streightiff. “This is a team effort and it’s important to have many members on the team helping to protect our children.”
Streightiff is an advocate for National Abuse Prevention Month, raising awareness about abuse prevention resources, and organizes the Huntingdon Police Department’s National Night Out, ensuring educational activities like bike safety and K-9 demonstrations occur, Child ID kits are available for parents and mental health/family support providers are in attendance. Additionally, he works closely with the Huntingdon Area School District, other law enforcement agencies and the district attorney’s office.
Ward said she’s very proud of Streightiff and the work he does.
“This statewide recognition is well deserved,” she said, expressing her sincere thanks for all the chief does for Huntingdon’s children and youth. “His example is one we should all be mindful of.”
In addition to Ward, PFSA was also joined by state Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Valerie Arkoosh and members of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee and the House Children and Youth Committee, among others.
From Huntingdon Daily News, April 5, 2023