Madeline Schmitt | |

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Pinwheels are often associated with bright colors and joy. You might imagine a child’s wide eyes watching a pinwheel spin in the wind. But on Sunday in Arlington, pinwheels took on a different meaning: child abuse awareness.

At 3 p.m., officers from the Arlington Police Department placed 423 pinwheels in the front lawn of the Ott Cribbs Public Safety Building. Each represented an Arlington child abuse case – whether it be physical or sexual – within the last year.

A stark reminder, APD spokeswoman Tiara Richard explains, of our youngest and most helpless victims.

April is known as Child Abuse Prevention Month. It’s the second consecutive year the APD has displayed the pinwheels and participated in other events to raise awareness of the issue.

Arlington is not the only place you’ll find the blue pinwheels. Texas Christian University and the Tarrant County College Northeast Campus also display them for child abuse awareness.

“The Alliance For Children hosts the “Pinwheel Project” each year as part of their commitment to bring awareness to the issue of child abuse and the importance of prevention,” a press release reads.

The Alliance For Children is a Tarrant County-based non-profit organization “involved directly in the protection from child abuse through coordinated investigations with law enforcement, Child Protective Services, Cook Children’s Medical Center, and the District Attorney’s Office.”

The APD Crimes Against Children Unit works closely with the Alliance For Children, CBS 11 is told.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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