TALKING BEFORE CHARGES: NEWTON’S POLICE SOCIAL WORKER AIMS TO HELP
“As a young sergeant, Police Chief David MacDonald remembers the department responding to some homes twice during a 24-hour shift. Often the calls involved individuals who were struggling with an underlying mental health issue and policing wasn’t helping resolve the situation.
Police officers have always been on the front end responding to situations where mental health is a key factor. But how the force handles people suffering with mental illness and addiction is changing. Now, with a growing opioid crisis nationwide, it is a particularly prevalent issue.
“You can’t arrest your way out of these problems,??? said Police Lt. Bruce Apotheker.
So a new question began to surface.
“How do you get to the people who need the resources???? said Apotheker.”