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Social worker with Police on calls

  1. This was posted by a friend of mine. She has a couple degrees in social worker / psychology fields. She is left-leaning, but not the screaming pychos we see so much of. I do not know what PD she was/is working with. She does use some politically correct terminology ( bleh ).

    I think you all will appreciate this... I don't know any details beyond what is below, I haven't talked to her about this:

    "My wish for our country is to stop with the black or white, this or that thinking. Things don’t have to be “either or”. They can be “and”. On Tuesday I had my first ride along with the PD to go on mental health calls as a clinician and social worker. In four hours we were able to get to about two (2) of the 10+ calls that came in.

    In each of those situations I was incredibly happy to have my Police partners go in and clear the scene to ensure everyone’s safety. My officer stayed long past when an officer was needed because he was my ride, and only because he was my ride. He could have/should have been out on other calls like the weapons call or the shots fired calls or the narcotics calls.

    It’s not about defunding the police, we agreed, it’s about funding the appropriate resources so everyone gets the help they need from the person that can help them most at that time. My officer partners could have, should have left when the scene was cleared. They had other fish to fry.

    That is an example of “and” the calls needed police AND a social worker who knew their individual roles and skills. He cleared the scene and did background checks and I did field assessments. He could have left and I could have stayed. I could have met up with him at the next call and we could have potentially helped more people.

    Look for the “and” people."
  2. I can’t get CSB or a social worker to do their job here, let alone take over what we do.

    I’ll go on ahead and keep living in reality.
  3. That poor, poor cop. He must really be hated to draw that crap assignment.
  4. The Police have no business being involved in crisis response calls for service. Likewise, they have more than enough work to be doing in this time of accelerated resignations, retirements, and the increased difficulty in recruitment and hiring.

    If one of my officers was slacking off on crisis response calls, their eval would reflect their preference for social work and not their assigned responsibilities.
  5. We had a crisis response team of two clinicians who we could call on when we thought they were needed. Usually once they got there we could clear (if we called them).

    The problem came when they’d call us to stand by with them because the scene wasn’t safe enough. So there we had cops along with the social workers. But if the cops are “the problem” then the problem will keep being there because the social workers don’t want to get attacked either and will want the police to do what they do best.
  6. Phoenix Regional Fire Department has the right idea. A Mercedes Benz Sprinter van, see attached photo, of one of the suburban city vans and volunteers:


    The van is staffed by mostly volunteers, some full time coordinators, and they attend social work courses - such as death and bereavement, counseling, resources for displaced fire victims, etc.

    They respond to traffic incidents involving injury/death, residential fires, shootings, drownings, unattended deaths, etc.

    The have teddy bears for the little ones, resources for fire victims, can transport families to hospitals, are willing to sit with relatives of suicides/deaths, etc. They interact with Victims Assistance, the Red Cross, the clergy, food banks, homeless centers, etc.

    They don't dress like cops, they don't act like cops, and they are solution motivated. They actually work.
  7. I know I sound like a SOB regarding social service calls. However, not everyone at FD or PD is suited for every social service call. We had a cop that had two stillborn infants and he was THE person to send to a SIDS death or anytime a child died.

    One of our cops had a child who died through drowning, she knew what to say.

    If someone was a veteran, I would volunteer to take it because I bought my own casket sized US flag for the decedent and would ensure that the corpse was treated with the utmost respect and honors whether they were combat vet of WW2, Korea, Vietnam, or just a veteran who did their time in peacetime Kansas. They were taken out of their house covered with the US flag and a salute from me.

    Everyone has their specialty and everyone has a phobia. I never had children and the death of any child drove me into personal despair.
  8. Actually... the first thought I had after reading my friend's post was that it was very PRO police. She is a liberal, but she wanted the police there and appreciates what they do... and she does NOT want to "defund" the police.

    There are "lefties" out there that appreciate you folks.

    My friend has been working at a facility where people getting out of prison have classes and meetings about getting back into society. She has spent time with really bad people, tying to help them, and the last thing she wants is for there to be less police on the streets.
  9. Until I went to Crisis Intervention Training and was placed on our team, I would have agreed with you. However, if we're going to be tasked with those responsibilities, then it's worth doing in the correct manner. In order to do that, you have to turn off your 'hurry up' switch that's built into people that work at busy agencies. Those situations aren't dealt with quickly and I'm saying this as someone working at one of the largest and busiest agencies in the state of Florida.

    Whether or not the LEO or a civilian rider is the primary on crisis response, if that person is assigned to be riding with me there's absolutely no way I could leave them alone on scene, even if I wasn't the one directly dealing with the crisis aspect of it.

    Sounds like your gripe should be with management, not the officer responding to those calls.
  10. True words, my friend.

    There’s some days we can’t get to the “suicidal” calls, because we’re on other priority calls.
  11. How many CIT training hours did you receive? I can just about guarantee that you received just enough to learn the buzzwords, describe the most common morbidities, and know just enough to get some CE time out of it.

    There are valid reasons why they do not allow people with 120+ credit hours of university education and a B.S. in psychology to assess or treat people. Police CIT training is simple awareness, not an education.
  12. A CIT officer (I was one for 10 years) does none of the (bolded) above. It is similar to the needed criteria for a stop vs an arrest. All a CIT officer does is determine whether the individual meets certain criteria which would require an assessment, then, if so, they will transport. They neither do an assessment nor do they treat.
    CIT officers do have extra training in de-escalation. CIT training is generally 40 hours to start with, plus 8-16 additional every year.
  13. Sounds like an awesome program, potentially like one my sister was on. They are there to minimize the aftereffects of a traumatic situation.
    What they don't do is handle CIT type calls. Especially not if there is a possibility of a violent person involved.
  14. Nowhere did I say persons were receiving clinical treatment by us in the field. The goal is to simply calm someone in crisis to the point they can be transported to the appropriate receiving facility. One of the guys on my squad recently talked a suicidal individual off of an overpass. It wasn't a quick process but had a successful outcome. Those calls take time.

    This. We aren't mental health professionals. We're there to help stabilize someone in the safest way possible to get them to needed resources. No matter the validity of opinions in which LE shouldn't be responding to those calls, the reality is in the vast majority of those situations, LE will be the first on scene.
  15. I appreciate what the woman and the police department did. It gets me to thinking.

    I think that California should change its requirements for licensing as a family and marriage counselor and for licensing as a psychologist.

    Before getting the original license, the applicant should be mandated to spend 15 documented hours responding to calls on the local skid row. It would waken some of those people to the reality of life outside of academia.
  16. Radio traffic:

    "We need an ambulance to respond ASAP, and uh...we are gonna need another social worker too."
  17. Now a police officer has to protect himself and a social worker and do his job. So much wrong with this idea.
  18. I like the idea that any professional should get real world training, 15 hours seems way too short.
  19. It's almost as if the left didn't think that through and knee jerk reactions are never good.
  20. Why not get the racists rev bubblegum to solve problems in his hood? And the aldermen, and the counsel men, a nd throw in the gospel choir too. It is well past the time these people take responsibility for their own continuing failures.
  21. Not exactly. . .but you know that already. The upside? Officers went home alive and mostly well. Mental hygiene support aint a panacea either.

    I can only imagine the initial thought when this officer broke down the front door believing he was TRULY making an effort to help. Makes one think twice now, huh?

  22. I’m not gonna read it all. Just send the social worker in first. Blue Lives Matter!
  23. There are plenty of instances where officers are attacked as soon as they arrive at a call of a person having mental health issues or just a “well being check”

    Had that happen to me, sent on a well being check on a guy with a history of mental health issues and soon as I arrived the guy came out with a bayonet and tried to kill me.
  24. Yep. Pulled up on one and as soon as I approached he tried to pull a bowie knife out of his waistband. He ended up with his head busted open on my push bumper
  25. Mine found out it was a bad idea to bring a bayonet to a gunfight.
  26. “Tried”. He must not have known that to succeed, one must try and try again. Something tells me he wasn’t prepared to fail forward.
  27. No. The CIT training if properly done is not simple awareness. It’s more how deal with the person than a college psychology class which is more concerned about classifications and diagnosis.

    It’s the difference between a biology class and a first aid class. In a first aid class, one doesn’t need to know most of the terms definitions, root causes, etc.

    CIT training is highly focused on solving the immediate problem of getting them to surrender to go to treatment rather than “curing” or classifying the patient as a psychologist would be.

    Think of it more of a fireman vs a doctor rather than trying to teach a cop to be a doctor.
    Certain trained firemen are great at extricating people from wreaked cars and patching them up just long enough to get them to the emergency room. They aren’t great at curing the person of their illness. A doctor skill set is great at curing the person but often lacks the ability to extricating a person from a wreaked car. Some doctors know how but most are inexperienced at it . Most doctors only see patients in a controlled atmosphere or after the psychological break. And has someone to physically help them if that is called for.

  28. I went to it when it was initially rolled out around here, and it quickly became known as the hug a thug program. Traditional criminal behavior becoming reclassified as crisis has been met with plenty of resistance at the street level. Addressing the situation at hand is a lot quicker than dealing with the root cause creating the situation at hand.
  29. If they want to cease the black vs white narrative, they need look no further than the media.
  30. and all is well till the first Soc worker gets beaned by the wife during a domestic.
  31. I thought CIT was ongoing? I guess you're saying it's not continuous education or continuous improvement training similar to weapons recert., fitness training, etc. etc.?

    If not ongoing, should it be?
  32. I don’t think you know what’s in the proper training,
    It’s 40 hours or more of focused training including real actors to play the part of new emotionally distressed people ( a physical aspect), getting real mental ill people to come in, talk, socialize, and explain their reality etc. It’s also for them to learn from us including the psychological professionals. They had/have a lot to Learn from cops who actually deal with the mentally ill in a certain environment more than they do.

    With all the other training, it’s too much time to take officers away from their job, get mentally ill who are willing to talk and learn. And get all of the officers trained.
    Remember that cops use this stuff everyday unlike the gun training, the CBRNE training, the terrorist awareness training , the active shooter training, medical training ( CPR, Defib, etc), the legal updates training, etc.
    The real CIT training isn’t a quick refresher course type of thing. It’s not about acronyms or definitions. A refresher course would only be that in name only. A real “refresher “ would require the whole course over again with different people. Something that most departments can not afford to send regular patrol officers to every year due to time. Nor is it necessary in reality. Remember that we deal with more mentally ill in a actual crisis than most psychological professionals do who see them but....after we bring them to them.
  33. I understand your perspective. I believe you're expressing to me "training" is ongoing, but are also saying "training" falls below the level of reinforcement/sustainment training than say, CBRNE/gun/medical/terrorist awareness or active duty training? You're correct. From a local level, I can't speak to overall training of officers. Militarily, I know "tough training makes combat easy." We were constantly drilled with ethics training, race relations training, stress reduction training, and all things of the mind and soul to ensure we protected each other and ourselves from those trying to harm us. PTSD affects law enforcement as much as even greater than the military. Why? Because . . .by the nature of "to protect and to serve," law enforcement is out seeking those who wish to infringe upon others, therefore, they need every tool possible to protect themselves. . .which means educating and training them to incorporate the power of the mind to influence others to do the right thing. For me, that means crisis intervention training for any and every situation they are most likely to encounter on the streets. That means constant scenarios of incorporating verbal judo with less incisive people, "cra cras," or those who Mensa believing arrogant asses who believe cops are morons. Cops should always be prepared to either win those altercations. . .worse case? A draw and everyone walk away. It's OJE/OJT for every officer. Just my take.

    CBRNE? Specialty training. SWAT? Specialty training. People are talking to people everyday! Who teaches them daily about verbal judo? Do they learn as they go?
  34. I remember the days when EMS would respond to calls of assaults/domestic violence/shootings /stabbings and would be first on the scene running into the house thinking they were immune/exempt from being assaulted by the people they were there to help. They learned real quick it didn't matter that "they were the good guys " After a few of the EMS responders were stabbed and shot,it was mandatory that they remained outside until police arrived and made sure the scene was safe. Kind of like when the locals would set their neighborhood on fire then shoot at the fire dept. when they arrived to put out the fires then complain when their house burned down...lol. Typical Obama/Democrat supporters.
  35. You sound like a youngster millennial. I was an EMT back in 1982. Even back then, we waited for LEOs to arrive on scene or we went in afterward they told us okay. What elementary school were you in at that time? I remember law enforcement always reminding us tis better to be judged by 12 vice carried by six as if related to conceal carry while on duty.

    I think that was doing times when it was the "trickle down" economy to improve people's financial wealth. You catch my drift there, young blood?
  36. I don't know what the answer is, but dealing with the mentally ill is not an easy thing to do.
    A buddy of mine is a nurse, has been for years, but started working psyche a few years ago.
    He's said he is just now feeling like he's getting the hang of assessing people, understanding where they are, and where they'll likely be in the immediate future is hard...
    He did say, when he was first "on his own" he had to resort to having a person physically restrained and shot up with geodon or haldol, but now he can convince many of them to take medication voluntarily.

    Cities that have dedicated mental health response units, with extra training, are seeing better outcomes, with less violent outcomes, so that should tell you things..
    It is probably impractical for every badge to get that kind of training, but it is a good idea that some do...

    But it's hard to convince some, LEOs seem especially vulnerable to the dunning kreuger effect...
  37. I don't put that on LEOs. Mental illness never goes away. People forget words like "backsliding" or "off the wagon" can apply to mental health issues.
  38. Ba
    Back in 1975 in Detroit when I was 22 years old. Prior to that we used to have Fire Rescue for transporting the sick and injured and every precinct had a station wagon with 2 stretchers for transporting since they only had a few EMS vehicles for the entire city. I was always assigned to the station wagon since I was a rookie(2 years on the job). Would be busy the entire shift transporting gun shot victims and stabbings to the hospital not counting the times we would have to carry the stretcher up 6 floors in an apartment building(no elevators) to convey a 600lb woman who busted the toilet seat when sitting on it. Back in them days it was like working at the 4077 Mash Unit. Our main hospital down town would do surgery in the hall way on a Friday and Saturday night due to the number of shootings and stabbings(Like Chicago on the weekends). The doctor would ask you if you were right or left handed and tell you to stick out your hand and slap a rubber glove on it and you were part of the surgical team in the hall way. They had an old guy who's job it was to have a mop and bucket to clean up the blood in the hall way!
  39. I don't either...
    All I'm saying its a hard problem...

    We're never going back to mass institutionalization.. did you know until the early 70s there were more people in mental confinement than prison?

    We're never going that way again.. as a society, we're just too cheap...

    And not that this era was a panacea anyways, as a lot of people endured abusive, sometimes brutal confinement, for the most ridiculous of reasons, like being a hyperactive child, or being gay...

    So like it or not, we are in this situation, and LEOs have to be mental-health orderlies among a 1000 other hats...
    It's actually a good thing that they get support in this regard, even if they are too proud/macho to admit they could use it
  40. As far as learn as you go vs formal training. It’s both. Cops get CIT training and use parts of it everyday. Talking is the main part of our business believe it or not.
    CIT training isn’t about treatment but rather getting people to volunteer to get help or how to get help. PTSD is common and an option used seranio is talking to the suicidal cop with PTSD. Remember that CIT is about dealing with the person in the middle of the crisis and not the preventive measures or post treatment. There are other programs and treatments that address that such as our POPPA program ( peer assistance program ).

    Again, it’s training focused to deal with the immediate crisis as it’s happening.

    Unlike the other training where it’s a specific set of actions to be conducted, the CIT isn’t that way nor as a perishable skill like that other training. And some of the skill set from CIT is incorporated into other training.
    Again it’s an intensive training that is narrowly focused on that goal of being in that emotionally disturbed or distressed person in for treatment while they are actually in crisis. It’s not a plug and play type training. People often don’t respond to that well especially if they have been a repeat customer.
    The police rarely can stand down patrol units for training as often as the military does.
  41. Understand. . .so. . .correlation. That was Nixon/Ford/Republican supporters. . .typical of Obama/Democrat supporters of that era. Understand my drift?

    1975? I was "across the pond" protecting and defending my fellow American soldiers. Turns out the Pentagon Papers were written by both parties.
  42. I went through the second CIT class offered in my county, back when it was voluntary. Like so much other training it became another tool in the box to use. Whether it was used to find someone some help, or pink slip someone to the ER it was useful to resolving some things. In our class it was reiterated many times that it was not a substitution for an arrest though. I also found that after taking the class I learned how to listen a little better and started getting a lot more confessions in the non CIT calls.
  43. Must have been the “spermwhale” of the department. :whistling:
  44. So --- is there a lockable rack in the front seat for the guitar and bongos?
  45. You would be surprised who volunteers for such assignments... steady hours and weekends off type of thing. How many social workers work midnights and rotating days off? Not many.
  46. We can sit back and say 'don't send the police to the crisis calls' but it will never pass the real world test. Mental illness and violence go hand in hand. We are the only people trained and equipped to handle that.
  47. Duh. . .no one is even saying that. How in the the world during the initial contact with the dispatcher can anyone differentiate between a crime call and a mental health call? You know who can. . .or should? The police. I hope you're not degrading the professionalism of police by saying they're not incisive enough to handle a mental health call? What. . .just call the police for real crimes? What you're saying lacks clarity.
  48. WTF are you talking about? The 4th post on this topic said "The Police have no business being involved in crisis response calls for service".

    We handle mental health calls every day where the only complaint is a mental health issue. Nothing to do with being a possible criminal act.
  49. I pulled up the post in question. Sounds as if you're in contradiction to the post. If so, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. Additionally. . .comparatively speaking, for that other law enforcement agency, either the poster misspoke or misrepresented the agency's service to the community or your department's quality of service and/or professionalism is significantly higher than the poster's agency. . .but I don't know.