Chief of Police Bloomington (IN) Police Department, United States
The Bloomington, Indiana, Police Department (BPD) began an embedded police social worker (PSW) program in 2019. Funded by the department budget, the program started with one PSW and has grown to three full-time PSWs. Many people have seen the benefits of having PSWs on staff as it relates to decreased call volume and an increase in effectiveness dealing with subjects experiencing mental illness. BPD’s chief and senior social worker will detail those benefits through data and case studies that span the program’s history. In addition, presenters will discuss the additional benefits of embedded PSW positions, including intentional outreach (after death scenes, non-fatal overdoses, etc.), department wellness, hostage and crisis negotiations, and the work of developing solid community partnerships.