City Council approves the creation of a post of director of social work of the police | Local

GLENS FALLS — City Council voted to approve the creation of a director of social work position for the city’s police department at its Tuesday night meeting.

Police Chief Jarred Smith said in April that the department originally aimed to hire someone for the position last year, but was unable to achieve it.

The department was to appoint a community liaison officer, which it did in Constable John Norton in March 2021, increase transparency by posting policies online and hire a social worker, following police reform and the collaborative reimagining of former Governor Andrew Cuomo from 2020.

“In (the process), the city took inventory and felt that one of the things it could do to address the needs of constituents who have mental health issues was to hire a social worker to work with the police department,” the mayor said. Bill Collins.

Collins said the goal of the social work manager is to provide a link between available and existing services in the community and those who need them most.

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According to the job description, someone in the position will assist crisis response officers, providing immediate, short-term help to those who have experienced something that results in mental, physical, behavioral and emotional distress.

They will also ensure, among other things, follow-ups and referrals to the appropriate organizations.

Collins said many calls handled by city police officers are for public safety in the form of human services, not law enforcement specifically.

“This social worker will be trained in this and will work with our police department to provide a team effort that can allow our officers to be more available and understand all of the services we provide in Glens Falls,” he said. -he declares. .

The salary for the position will not exceed $70,000 annually, according to the resolution adopted by the board.

Smith said in April that the city would include the position’s salary in the general city budget for the first year before moving it to the department’s budget in the future.

Collins said the city is using its American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay the salary this year.

Jay Mullen is a journalist for The Post Star covering the city of Glens Falls, Warren County and crime and the courts. You can reach him at 518-742-3224 or jmullen@poststar.com.