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Superior Police investing in new social worker position and more training

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: September 28, 2020 06:36 PM

There's new funding for the Superior Police Department focused on training and hiring a social worker. The chief of the department said they have been taking more and more calls that have a social work component and hope this will help them respond more effectively.

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"There's a lot of issues within the community that require a social worker so rather than train police officers to act like social workers, we're just going to hire social workers to do that work," said Superior Mayor Jim Paine.

Paine said the police department is frequently called to respond to incidents that are outside the scope of traditional policing. Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander said the addition of a social worker will be a big help to the department and the community.

"It's going to speed up the delivery of services for the people that are in need. Right now the way it works is police officers go on these calls now, but we don't have a social worker so it's ultimately a referral process," said Alexander.

The police department is also focusing on increased training for officers.

"One of the big focuses that I identified for the use of the money will be continuing training on de-escalation, professional communications, fair and impartial policing. Concepts that deal with recognizing unconscious or implicit biases," said Alexander.

"This has been a multi year goal but this year we expanded it with the largest increase in police training in the city's history. We're looking at changing police culture within the City of Superior and providing a different response model for some situations," said Paine.

This is training Alexander said they have been working on for a long time and is important to continuously do to improve the work police officers do everyday.

"The more often that we can do scenario based training that kind of puts officers in real life situations and have them use de-escalation and professional communications to resolve incidents and training peacefully, then I think that's going to ultimately lead to more successful outcomes in the real world," said Alexander.

Alexander said they hope to have the social worker position ready by next year.

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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