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Social Workers Help Moline Police

Moline Police Department

The Moline Police Department hopes a new partnership with a Peoria-based social service agency will help officers better handle people with mental health problems. This week, two social workers from the Center for Youth and Family Solutions started working at the department full-time. 

Chief Darren Gault says it's been obvious for a long time that police officers  frequently encounter people who need referral or intervention. And in recent years it's been part of the national conversation about police reform.

"Having them in our building is going to give us better access to understanding what role social workers can provide for our community. It's going to give us access to education they can provide us on how to handle certain situations. It also gives us the ability to use diversion and intervention techniques so we can divert different cases from the criminal justice system."

Social workers will not respond to calls with Moline officers, but will be involved with investigations and following up on cases. Gault sees a strong need for this extra help in dealing with juveniles, and diverting as many as possible from the criminal justice system. 

He says the Bettendorf Police Department has a social worker on staff, but no other department in this area has a partnership like Moline's. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.
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