WLPD welcomes social service position

The West Lafayette Police Department is implementing a new position it hopes will expand the department's services and better community relations.

Posted: Nov 16, 2020 3:49 AM
Updated: Nov 16, 2020 8:20 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—"It's been something that we've talked about for a couple years," said West Lafayette Police Chief Troy Harris. 

A Social Service and Crisis Response Specialist, a position in which the person will work closely with the West Lafayette Police Department in crime and non-crime related issues.

"We have hundreds and hundreds of non-criminal complaints or people in crisis that we show up to," said Harris. 

The social service and crisis response specialist will engage in crisis intervention and refer to those experiencing mental health issues, homelessness, traumatic events and more to the appropriate local resource or agency.

'We've made some wonderful partnerships throughout Greater Lafayette to help people that are in crisis but sometimes again we are not the person to make sure that person actually gets the help they need," said Harris. 

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said when the department pitched this position it was a "no brainer."

"When Troy approached me about that I said where do I sign I will find you the money and we'll get this thing going," said Dennis. 

Dennis said it's a win-win for the department and the community.

"Some of it had to do with my prior experience," said Dennis. "I was a police officer in Lafayette for more than 20 years and a lot of the circumstances where we were in a situation that ended up in an arrest could have resolved with some guidance from a mental health professional."

Chief Harris said the human resources department will have the position posted this week. He said the department will interview candidates during the month of December in hopes of having the position filled by January of 2021.

Click here to keep tabs on the position when it is live on WLPD's website. 

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