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Manchester YWCA hardening rules to prevent violence

New Hampshire Union Leader

August 22. 2013 9:28PM

MANCHESTER — The Manchester YWCA will use a metal detector on every non-custodial parent who uses the supervised visitation center, according to a copy of a new procedures manual obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader on Thursday.

The new rules, which went into effect Wednesday, also prohibit non-custodial parents from bringing any items into the visitation center. Mancester police have agreed to be on site temporarily while the visitation center is open, according to a single-page memorandum distributed Wednesday.

“Our goal is to continue working to minimize risk for the families that use this vital service,” reads the memo. “Over the next few weeks and months, we will be making changes to achieve this goal.”

The changes follow the Aug. 11 murder-suicide by Manchester resident Muni Savyon of his 9-year-old son and himself. Savyon, the subject of a restraining order because of threats he made against his wife, could only see his son during supervised visits.

Visitation centers across the state have run under varying guidelines. Some require parents to go through metal detetors and have police officers present. Others operate under less stringent guidelines designed to make the visitation a positive experience for the child.

Until Aug. 11, the Manchester YWCA had used a hand-held, metal-detection wand sporadically.

On Wednesday, the YWCA invited parents to the Concord Street building to discuss the changes to the visitaton center. According to the memorandum, the changes include:

• All non-custodial parents will be wanded with a metal detector every time they arrive for a visit.

• Each person who enters the building for a visit must have a photograph on file. That includes other children, grandparents and support people.

• Non-custodial parents will use the Concord Street entrance to the building. Custodial parents will use the Chestnut Street door.

• Non-custodial parents will no longer be able to bring items to the visit.

• Custodial parents may allow children to bring comfort items such as a pillow or small blanket.

• Manchester police will have an officer on site when the visitation center is open, at least until unspecified repairs are made to the building.

Efforts to reach Manchester Police Chief David Mara for elaboration were unsuccessful Thursday.

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