LOGAN, Utah — Three Cache Valley residents were publicly recognized Thursday by the local United Way for the work they do to give a voice to the smallest victims of crime — the children who experience physical and sexual abuse.

“These three individuals exemplify giving, investing to make a difference, advocating, lending their voice to champion a cause and volunteering time to change lives for the good,” said master of ceremonies Amy Nye, weekend morning news anchor at Channel 2 and Fox 13.

North Park Police Detective Ulysses “UB” Black was one of the three individuals to be honored during the United Way’s annual fundraising banquet on the Utah State University campus.

Black, who has worked in law enforcement for 25 years, has investigated hundreds of child abuse and child sex abuse cases in the valley. He believes every victim deserves his best no matter how challenging the case is. He has been described as a phenomenal investigator who is tenacious and looks at every angle. He is non-judgmental and understanding of different people.

“He has served Cache Valley for a big chunk of his life, and he is often asked to assist other agencies in large and complicated investigations,” said Paula Eliason, who sits on the board of directors for United Way Cache Valley. “He truly has a passion within him when it comes to crimes against persons, and particularly crimes against children.”

Black was honored along with Joan Liquin, director of the Cache Children’s Justice Center, who provides a safe haven for children who are victims of crime as they go through the ordeal of talking with strangers about events that even adults find unspeakable.

The Cache Children’s Justice Center was one of three to be created in 1981 through the efforts of three Utah lawmakers, including Sen. Lyle Hillyard, who was the third person to be recognized for his advocacy of children. In 1994, the children’s justice centers were incorporated into programs within the Utah Attorney General’s office. They have since expanded to 22 centers providing services in 28 counties with a model that is now being used across the country.

Black, Liquin and Hillyard were each presented with an award in advance of a live auction that raised money for numerous nonprofit organizations in the valley and a keynote address given by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who is also known as an advocate for children who have become victims of human trafficking.

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Amy Macavinta is the crime reporter for The Herald Journal. She can be reached at amacavinta@hjnews.com.