Kentucky town hires social workers instead of more officers - and the results are surprising

Alexandria, Kentucky's 17-officer police department avoided the expense of hiring more police officers by adding two social workers to assist police in responding to the types of calls that can often turn into repeat calls to 911. By working with people in domestic disturbances, mental health crises, or with substance abuse issues, the social workers connect families to services immediately, rather than awaiting a referral from the police after the crisis has passed. Repeat calls to 911 are down and the city saves up to $50,000 for each position where a social worker substitutes for a police hire.

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