Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 5¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

Burnet police unveil child abuse awareness-themed patrol vehicle

Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center staff pose with a new Burnet Police Department patrol vehicle

Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center staff pose with a new Burnet Police Department patrol vehicle that has been outfitted with decals dedicated to raising awareness of child abuse and prevention. Pictured (from left) are office coordinator Mackenzie Barnard, Education Outreach coordinator Erica Melton, Program Director Lana Niemeyer, Executive Director Kim Winkler, and forensic interviewer Daisy Chistiansen. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Community leaders gathered at the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center on Monday, March 20, for the unveiling of a new Burnet Police Department patrol vehicle outfitted to raise awareness of child abuse and prevention. The vehicle will be stationed at R.J. Richey Elementary School in Burnet and assigned to School Resource Officer Courtney Raney.

The 2022 Chevy Tahoe is wrapped in decals dedicated to the center and expected to be in the field for at least seven years. Burnet Police Chief Brian Lee had the idea for the vehicle and worked alongside HCCAC leadership for over a year to make it happen.

“Our children are our most vulnerable population,” Lee told “We intentionally placed it at R.J. Richey Elementary School, where it will get exposure to kids and families. I think it will have an impact.”

Lee said child abuse or neglect affects one in seven children, a statistic backed up by data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also expressed hope that the vehicle will spark conversations among residents about the problem.

“The support from our local law enforcement is so amazing,” said Kim Winkler, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center. “(The new vehicle) may trigger something for (the public). They may recognize and be able to speak with a law enforcement officer in the community and know that they are here to help, and so are we.”

The center aids child abuse-related criminal investigations and provides therapy for victims in Burnet, Llano, Blanco, Lampasas, and San Saba counties. 

A major component of the center’s work is one-on-one forensic interviews with the young victims conducted by specialized counselors who have experience in different communication styles and the ability to adjust so as not to re-traumatize the child.

Severe cases of child abuse go through 33rd and 424th District Attorney Sonny McAfee, whose office works directly with the center.

“I think that having this patrol vehicle is a great reminder to people of what the Children’s Advocacy Center does,” McAfee told “It makes people aware, and it may even stimulate people to learn what the center is if they don’t already know.”

Visit the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center’s website or call 512-756-2607 to learn more about its mission and how to support it.