FAIRFIELD (CBS13) — A brutal case of alleged child abuse in which a young Fairfield father is accused of mutilating his baby has renewed attention on a Fairfield Police program intended to stop similar cases.
Joseph Cooper, 18, is accused of biting his child’s nose and causing severe trauma to the child’s skull and brain.
“These cases are extremely tough for the detectives that have to investigate them,” said Fairfield Police Det. Brent Pucci.
While the case against Cooper has gained national attention, Pucci says it has only re-energized the department’s push to educate parents about how to cope before lashing out.
The effort includes high-tech lifelike dolls.
“It’s very similar to actually holding your own child,” he said.
The shaken baby simulator is the weight of an infant, looks like a baby, but has a clear head and a baby-sized brain. This shows those who dare to shake the baby the damage they’re causing.
Lights blink on the sides of the doll’s brain to show where the brain damage is. The presentations put on by police also include other tips for handling crying babies, such as placing the child in a crib.
But Pucci says the presentations haven’t gotten the attendance they should, which means there are parents who may not be prepared.
“You learn how to deal with that, then we’ve been successful in the community,” he said.