Detective Katie Horine fights for children she doesn’t know. They are abused, physically or sexually, often times not believed when it’s the latter.
“Physical abuse is easier to believe because you see the marks,” Horine explained. “You know something happened. Sexual abuse, you don’t want to believe it. It’s the pariah of society.”
As the senior detective in KCPD’s Juvenile Section, Horine is well versed investigating crimes against children. For those who have been sexually abused, the first step in helping them is believing them. That’s not the consensus you would expect.
Horine says the overwhelming majority of these crimes involve someone the child likes, knows, or loves.
“Families have a hard time believing that this person they know, that they’ve known for however long, would be capable of doing that,” Horine said. “They don’t want to believe it. That’s the hardest part is having someone to believe them.”
Horine is in her sixth year as a detective, following four years as a patrol officer. The Smithville native originally hoped to become a criminal profiler with the FBI. But when she started at KCPD to gain experience, she became enthralled with her work serving KCMO.
With a degree in psychology and a minor in childhood studies and criminal justice, Horine gravitated towards working in the Juvenile Section. She is a voice for abused children, working with Family Court, the Children’s Division, the prosecutor’s office, and advocacy centers to deliver justice.
The work in this unit brings unique stressors, but also the opportunity to protect children. One of Horine’s most memorable cases concluded with a suspect going to prison for sexually abusing four children in the neighborhood.
“Going to his sentencing with the victims was very impactful and rewarding,” Horine said. “Being a voice for the kids is something that is needed, but not a lot of people are able to do it.”