by Robin Kemp

Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts tells The Clayton Crescent the department has made a tentative offer to fill its first social worker position.

In an exclusive interview about policing in Clayton County, Roberts said he had two good candidates and is trying to figure out how to make room for both.

In addition, he said CCPD is working with the Clayton County Community Services Board about the possibility of partnering with a third social worker.

Here is an excerpt from that larger interview, which will air on The Real Story with Robin Kemp later this week:

Reasons to have a social worker available to the police department, according to Dr. George T. Patterson of Hunter College’s School of Social Work, is “to provide services to community residents such as crisis intervention, mediation, and referrals. Additional tasks may include the provision of training and consultation to police officers, and mental health services to police officers and their families.”

The Clayton Crescent first reported in February the possibility that the Board of Commissioners would approve the position, specifically to “support the Police Department’s response to non-criminal calls for service that involves homelessness and individuals who are exhibiting unusual mental or emotional behavior that is not life threatening,” as well as to train officers on handling those kinds of calls.

You can learn more about police social workers from the National Association of Social Workers.