By Anthony F. Irwin
Officials announced at a luncheon Thursday that the Orange County Family Justice Center is adding “John Welter” to its name.
It was Welter, the Anaheim police chief who retired this year, who brought the concept of a family justice center to Orange County.
Welter said he was humbled by the recognition and hoped city leaders would continue to work to end what he calls “the cycle of violence.”
“I’m so excited about the progress we’ve made in such a short amount of time and where we’re headed,” he said.
The center opened as the Anaheim Family Justice Center in 2006 and has served thousands of victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse and more. It has also created dynamic, interactive courses to provide women and children the tools and self-esteem to leave dangerous relationships.
“Far too many young people grow up in a world of violence,” said Kerith Dilley, the OCFJC Foundation’s Executive Director. “We’re here to end that cycle.”
Fire Chief Randy Bruegman thanked Welter for his service to the city – and leadership in the area of ending family violence – before announcing the City Council had approved the name change.
“What we’re seeing in this room is one man’s vision,” he said.
The announcement drew a standing ovation.
Anaheim’s was the second such justice center in the U.S. The first opened in San Diego, and Welter played a key role in its formation before moving to Anaheim.
The center is now called the John Welter Orange County Family Justice Center.
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