Research Project Summary

This project seeks to evaluate the embedding of a professionally-trained social worker within the Millville Police Department (MPD) in order to more effectively respond to individuals experiencing mental/emotional health crises, substance abuse, and homelessness-related issues.

Research Project Goals

1) Perform a rigorous process and impact evaluation. 2) Examine the effect that a social worker present during police-citizen interactions has on individuals in crisis accepting professional services (compared to the status quo of officers responding by themselves).

Research Project Objectives

The objective for the evaluation is to compare what happens during interactions with people across shifts with a social worker by him/herself (i.e., alternative-responder model), a social worker teamed up with a police officer (i.e., co-responder model), and a police officer by him/herself. Outcomes will include whether either of the new approaches increase number of vulnerable individuals who accept help/professional services, reduce repeat 911 calls for specific locations/individuals, and divert more individuals from the justice system, among others (e.g., use of force), compared to the status quo of a policing-only model.