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San Marcos PD unveils new interview room to support victims, survivors

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The San Marcos Police Department announced it has a new space aimed at creating compassion, safety and comfort.

“Survivors of crime, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and children in traumatic situations will be able to use a ‘soft interview room’ to get the appropriate help they need,” the City of San Marcos’ news release said.

According to the release, the room features the following:

  • Soft lighting
  • White noise
  • Soft textiles like couches and blankets
  • Toys
  • Bean bag chair

“Children will be able to play with toys, grab a bean chair and watch a movie, or find a fun book to read,” the release said.

This space is meant to create a comfortable environment where survivors will meet with a variety of people like the SMPD Mental Health Unit, Child Protective Services and others.

The inspiration behind it

According to the city, the idea came after a patrol sergeant had three children sleeping in his office on a sleeping bag.

They were waiting for CPS and family to arrive.

“It was that night that the sergeant remembered his own experience with another agency’s soft interview room while dealing with a similar, traumatic situation,” the release said.

The city said the room was made possible thanks to a donation from Kissing Tree Backs Our Blue.

A growing trend

According to the release, soft interview rooms are becoming more common at both law enforcement agencies and university campuses across the country.

In 2019, the Austin Police Department unveiled six remodeled interview rooms.

They’re meant to be more comforting to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

The Kyle Police Department confirmed with KXAN that it has a soft interview room in its new facility as well.

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