Updated: Nov 24, 2021
KWTX-TV has reported the great news that the Waco Police Department and Prosper Waco are partnering to provide a social worker for people encountered by police who need support not available through the police.
"A social worker from Prosper Waco is helping the CCAST unit, or Career Criminal Apprehension Supervision Team," the story reports. "That particular unit deals with repeat offenders, but as the Waco Police Department found out, it’s not always criminals they’re dealing with. ...
"Prosper Waco director of behavioral health initiatives Telawna Kirbie said according to reports from the unit, many of the calls were not for violent crime, but for trespassing, substance abuse, or people going through mental health crises. ...
"Kirbie said the idea for the partnership came out of discussions with the Behavioral Health Leadership Team.
"The team, which is made up of organizations like MHMR, local hospital administration, the sheriff’s office, and others, spends time looking at how to improve the behavioral health system in the area. The group saw the need for a social worker to help the police department, since mental health concerns have come up as a major need.
"The social worker will partner with the CCAST to work with the 25-30 people the unit is helping on a regular basis.
"'They’ve been mentoring these folks and they’re not case managers, they’re not social workers, they’re police officers with really good hearts, to help people,' Kirbie said. 'But really finding themselves, you know, in a role that doesn’t really fit what they were trained to do.'"
See the full story at the link above. Thank you KWTX for this excellent coverage.