Officials cut the ribbon for the new Cache County Children’s Justice Center on Tuesday.
The new facility, a renovated home located at 339 E. 800 North in Logan, is around five times larger than the CJC’s previous building. Officials who spoke at the event said the new CJC will serve as a boon for law enforcement, victim’s advocates and the victims of crime.
The event was attended by citizens, local law enforcement, and county officials — all of whom were given a tour of the facility. Terryl Warner, the director of the Cache CJC, publicly thanked the Malouf Foundation, Big D’s Construction, the Cache County Council, County Executive David Zook and his predecessor Craig Buttars, as well as many others involved in the new building’s acquisition and renovation.
Sam Malouf, the CEO of Malouf and the chairman of the Malouf Foundation, told The Herald Journal he was excited to see the enhancement of services provided by the new CJC facility as well as the impact it might have on the community.
“Three years ago we started digging into what the needs were to kind of build towards a better optimum,” Malouf said, “and this is the next iteration.”
With interview rooms, observation rooms and a medical wing, Cache County Attorney James Swink told The Herald Journal the new CJC will benefit not only child victims of crime, but also adult victims who need assistance.
Swink said the resources of the new building will also allow for more efficient use and a more comfortable atmosphere.
“It will allow law enforcement to do their work, and more importantly it will allow victims who are involved in really ugly situations to come and find some tranquility, and a little security and peace, in a beautiful building as they go through some hard times in their lives,” Swink said. “It means we’ll be able to do our job a whole lot better.”
Swink said planning for a new facility began around two and a half years ago. The new facility was initially set to be built on Malouf’s property, Swink said, but the plan was derailed due to COVID-19. Swink described the renovated residential property as a “blessing” and “a miracle,” providing an upgrade from the “run-down” and “inadequate” facility the CJC has been operating out of.
“It’s ideally situated for the kind of work that goes on here,” Swink said. “It’s almost (as if) it was intended for this purpose.”
Prior to its renovation as the new CJC location, family members told The Herald Journal the home was owned by Betty Gerber, who lived there and maintained an immaculate garden to the north of the home. Betty’s son, Nolan Gerber, said the home was built by his parents around 28 years ago and his mom maintained the third-of-an-acre garden until she was roughly 91 years old.
“It was a home that they wanted, and they opened it to a lot of people,” Nolan said, explaining several couples in need of a place to stay were allowed to come and go as they pleased, many of whom were serving at the temple from out of town.
Nolan said he was hopeful the CJC will maintain the garden, and he was excited to know that children would once again be enjoying the garden — much like they did when Betty worked hard to maintain it.
“My parents were also kind, giving and loving people,” Nolan said. “I think that the feel of the house is very peaceful, and I think they’d be really happy with that.”