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Sylva Police awarded grant for Community Care Program

Sylva Police awarded grant for Community Care Program

  began in   at the Sylva Police Department. This service consists of placing a senior-level or graduate-level WCU intern from the department of Social Work within Sylva PD to serve in the role of Community Care Liaison. The Community Care Liaison’s primary functions are to follow up with citizens involved in police calls for service and to connect victims with community services. When a police officer encounters an individual that they identify as someone who could use additional attention, the officer submits a referral to the Community Care Liaison.

Most of the issues addressed with community care clients have been related to substance use, mental health, unhoused individuals and poverty. The program has five major objectives — expand the law enforcement toolbox by increasing officer response options beyond arrests, citations and warnings; promote long-term solutions for community members in need through connections with appropriate resources; promote officer and community member safety through increased opportunities for de-escalation and proactive, pre-crisis intervention; reduce the risk of trauma from negative interactions between law enforcement and community members; and reducing officer workload and streamlining officer workflow.

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