KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time ever, Kansas City police are working side by side with a social worker.
Gina English’s job is to offer victims of crime any help they might need, freeing up police officers to better do their jobs.
She was hired back in December thanks to a city grant, and her first job was to talk to youth running wild on the Plaza.
She discovered many parents from surrounding towns were dropping them off, leaving them free to cause trouble.
Her research has helped officers better work with the teens and parents to prevent future trouble.
Since then, her job has expanded to giving help to victims of violence and connecting troubled people with organizations that can help.
“My job is really to go back in and say, what can I do? What is going on, what tools, what resources, what support does the family need to be able to self regulate. To find long-term stability,” English said.
In another situation, a man called 911 more than 100 times total just to talk when Gina stepped in – and he hasn’t called since.
This pilot program ends in September, but Gina hopes the city continues it and even considers expanding it to hire more social workers to help police.