DELHI TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The first baby box installed in the Tri-State was in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, but the first in Southwest Ohio is coming to Delhi Township after the board of trustees unanimously approved its installation Wednesday.
"It's already a tough enough decision to decide that you can't take care of your infant," said Doug Campbell, chief of Delhi Twp. Fire Department. "This opportunity allows for safety involved for dropping off a child."
The boxes provide anonymity and safely house a child, protected from the elements and other dangers outdoors. Previously, the only one available in the Tri-State area was in Lawrenceburg, though safe haven laws allow any parents to leave an infant at a police or fire station without experiencing any legal repercussions.
"This is a way we can help save some of those children," said Michael Davis, trustee of Delhi Township. "Give them the human dignity that each child deserves to have. The ability to learn to grow."
Rose Stertz, chairman of the board of trustees, believes this is a hopeful moment for the area and hopes this could be the first of many in Southwest Ohio.
"It's not like putting them, like you hear sometimes, dropping them off in a cardboard box at the police station or fire station," said Stertz. "This is a safe haven. I love the name of it. For those children and for those parents."
Campbell said he hopes to have the box installed by March of next year. If it's ever used, it's equipped with an alarm that will notify the fire department immediately so they can safely monitor and take care of the infant.
"This is definitely something we're looking to bring into our community that would be accessible regionally for folks who don't have other means," said Campbell.