Social workers will be working closely with Waterloo's police force when they respond to emergency calls according to a news release from the Waterloo Police Department on Monday, February 15. The social workers will be from Elevate CCBHC in Waterloo, and will be embedded within the police force as part of the initiative.

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Waterloo Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said on the matter,

The goal of this program is to decriminalize behavioral crises, and reduce stigmas, by having Crisis Specialists available 24/7 both within the Police Department and through Elevate and other service providers.

While Waterloo Mayor Quinten Hart said,

Law enforcement is confronted with mental health crises on a daily basis with few good options available to address the situation.

Elevate social workers have already been assisting Waterloo Police since the beginning of the year on calls pertaining to mental health issues. Helping those suffering from mental health has always been an important issue for police, the hope it with Elevate workers, both law enforcement and those in need can have issues resolved safely. It will also free-up police who are often faced with acting as a counselor when they arrive to a 911 call.

 

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