In order to “increase public satisfaction” and cut down on 911 calls, a panel of the Minneapolis City Council voted to support the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) request to hire social workers in precinct offices.
The request was granted on Monday by the city’s Policy and Government Oversight Committee. In each of the five precincts of the MPD, the two-year, $730,000 contract would place at least five social workers. On Thursday, the request will be put to a vote by the entire municipal council.
The full-time workers would be hired by the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department. According to the city of Minneapolis’ website, the social workers would work with the police to “increase the level of support provided to persons needing crisis intervention.”
The proposal would send social workers to 911 calls to offer mental health care as needed. Future 911 calls are to be avoided, and the initiative aims to “lower [the] rate of arrests/prosecution of those in mental health crises.”