HARTFORD – Hartford police is set to become the fifth police department in Vermont to station a social worker at its headquarters. The Health Care and Rehabilitation Services worker would be able to assist officers in situations less suited for law enforcement, including mental health and drug-related issues.
The police social work program was created in 2002 in conjunction with the Bellows Falls Police Department, and has since been incorporated within the Springfield, Brattleboro and Windsor police department.
The program has been recognized throughout the Green Mountain state for its success, including nods from the Vermont Agency of Human Services and Vermont’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
According to the Health Care and Rehabilitation website, the police social work program seeks to intervene as pro-actively as possible to avoid client involvement with the criminal justice system.