Police officers are obliged to protect people and property. They have several duties, such as patrolling neighborhoods, responding to emergency calls, delivering warrants, and arresting violators, among others. However, most of the time, they are tasked with solving a community problem. Social workers combine academic study and practical experience to help deal with interpersonal and societal issues to ensure individuals’ healthy development and well-being in the community.
Almost two-thirds of the police calls received at 911 are not from criminal-based scenarios. Most of this originates from mental health crises and arguments that result in infusing interpersonal conflict. Although the police show up to attend such a scene, they rarely offer long-lasting solutions (BJA, 2021). Therefore, most of the time, they are called to address the same problem over and over. As the police stand to the first responders to most of these calls, they encounter many mentally ill people, which at times cause negative consequences such as killing during their interactions with law enforcement. Therefore, the police should not be the first polled to non-violent and non-criminal emergencies, advocating incorporating social worker services. By combining both the police and social worker and giving them more training will bring better outcomes (Wood, 2021). This is because the social workers will work with the police since they possess no arresting power and carry no weapon, thus requiring security in crime scenes.
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Besides, social workers do not wear police uniforms and bring panic buttons in case of danger. They have a non-threatening way of carrying out their activity and therefore foster openness to an individual, giving a magnitude better solution to this issue such as mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness than the police services (Lamin & Teboh, 2016). The police are left to deal with potentially menacing cases. Consequently, combing the social worker and police services will prove beneficial rather than leaving each department to deal independently. Some keywords include crisis intervention, social work, mental health, safeguard, police officer, community, humanity, arrest, social services, domestic violence, and interpersonal skills.
BJA. (2021). Understanding Community Policing. Ojp.gov. Retrieved 8 November 2021, from https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles/commp.pdf.
Lamin, S., & Teboh, C. (2016). Police social work and community policing. Cogent Social Sciences, 2(1), 1212636. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2016.1212636
Wood, J. (2021). The US police department that decided to hire social workers. the Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2021, from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/19/alexandria-kentucky-police-social-workers.