Local Boy Scouts detail safety measures amid document release - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Local Boy Scouts detail safety measures

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

The 13abc I-Team is taking a closer look at what's being done to keep area Boy Scouts safe amid the release to shocking new documents that detail abuse from the 1960s to 1980s.  Toledo leaders say they've learned a lot from the past.

In the recently released documents, 13abc has discovered an incident from July of 1982 where scout leader Gerald Murray admits to molesting 2 boys.  It quotes Murray as saying, "I don't know what to say!  Something just came over me!"  "I don't know what came over me!  I've never done this before." 

"I think we should be in a situation where we're sorry that those sort of things happened to young people and that we make sure, absolutely, that it never happens again," said Ed Caldwell, scout executive and CEO of the Erie Shores Council. 

Caldwell says the new attitude is tackling the issues head on with things like background checks, the guide to safe scouting, youth protection training, material for parents on preventing child abuse, and a protocol that no child can be alone in a meeting with just one leader.   

"None of this existed when I was a Boy Scout," said Caldwell.  "We did safe scouting activities but today all these things are in place and moms and dads know."

The Scouts are also required to report incidents of abuse to police.  Not always how cases have been handled, like Murray's.  Here's more from the 1982 documents, "He is presently undergoing treatment and the parents of the two boys are not, as we are told, planning any legal actions against him." 

"I think it's really important for us when they do hear those things of the past that they understand today is different than it was then and we have a lot of policies in place to make sure our kids are safe," said Caldwell.  "It truly does work when we follow our guidelines that we do and we enforce."

Enforcing policies to make sure the offenders don't stick around, like 13abc found in this a September 1982 letter in reference to leader Alan Douglas Baker.

That letter says, "Upon being made aware of the problem in pack 211 the other leaders obtained his resignation from Pack 211… shortly thereafter, we were made aware that he had similar problems in Pack 99 and he was immediately removed from that pack and our roster."

Caldwell says kids are safer these days, then they were in the past.  Caldwell says he's not heard from very many parents as a result of the newly released documents.  He believes parents are pleased with the diligence of the Scouts these days to keep the boys safe.

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