Mike Batista, administrator for the Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, has been appointed as the first Montanan to ever serve on the National Children’s Alliance board of directors.
“We are so pleased to have Mr. Batista’s wealth of knowledge and experience added to our Board,” NCA executive director Teresa Huizar said. “Mike was selected to join the NCA Board of Directors because of his expertise in child abuse investigations and deep commitment to justice for these victims, as evidenced by the exciting developments in Children’s Advocacy Centers in Montana through his leadership.”
Children’s Alliance of Montana director Michelle Miller nominated Batista for the national position, citing his leadership of the state’s efforts to develop multi-disciplinary teams and child advocacy centers – both key components in responding to child victims in a more compassionate way and in successfully prosecuting the offenders who sexually abuse children. The appointment was announced at a board meeting Tuesday.
“Mike Batista’s dedication to protecting and advocating for children is exemplary,” Miller said, “His support and influence as a law enforcement leader have significantly strengthened our efforts to build a children’s advocacy center movement throughout Montana.”
As administrator of the Division of Criminal Investigation for the Montana Department of Justice, Batista has overseen the creation of the Children’s Justice Center initiative for Attorney General Steve Bullock.
“Mike Batista is a cop with vision and, like mine, his vision includes doing everything we can to protect Montana’s children and to put the perpetrators who hurt them behind bars,” Bullock said. “As a national Children’s Alliance board member, Mike will put his 28 years of experience in law enforcement to work for the benefit of children throughout the entire nation.”
Batista’s appointment to a three-year term was effective this month.
The Division of Criminal Investigation is responsible for narcotics investigations, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy, assisting local law enforcement with major criminal investigations, and managing the state’s sexual offender registry and missing persons database.
Miller is director of the Butte Child Evaluation Center and founder of the Children’s Alliance of Montana. The National Children’s Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that equips communities to provide coordinated investigations and a comprehensive response to child victims of abuse. The NCA provides training, technical assistance, research, support and education to children’s advocacy centers, communities and child abuse professionals throughout the United States in support of child abuse advocacy and prevention.