(BLOOMINGTON) – A full-time social worker is now a member of the Bloomington Police Department.
Chief Mike Diekhoff says it is a non-traditional way of policing. He added the typical way they have responded to calls involving people struggling with addiction, homelessness, or mental health was not working.
Melissa Stone now connects with these people and will help them by referring them to resources and doing follow-ups with the individuals.
The department noticed they were getting repeated calls on people, and most of the cases involved mental health or something other than crime.
Chief Diekhoff said this program allows officers to focus on other things.