Hub model teaming officers and social workers is working, say Fredericton police
Deputy chief says new program has encouraged community partnerships
The Fredericton Police Force says a new program to integrate community services with policing is a success so far and one they want to expand.
Deputy chief Martin Gaudet said the unit, known as the hub, is a team made up of two police officers and two social workers.
Each specializes in a certain area, such as intimate partner violence, youth services, mental health, and the community and multiculturalism.
With officers responding to several files per day, specific files can be flagged for help from the multicultural liaison, youth services, mental health services and intimate partner violence coordinator.
"When one of our police officers or staff members gets one those files, sometimes … through discussions they realize the other individual can have a part to play or can assist.
"So it breaks down silos. It breaks downs silos between those four specialities and the front line officers."
Gaudet said the four people working in the hub can reach out to community partners for help and in turn, community partners are contacting them.
"So we've broken down that silo of all that front part decorum and the introductions and now it's strictly business."
Gaudet said now work gets done quickly and efficiently. He adds by having all four working in the same office they can discuss the files to see who can help who.
"This could be a referral based on the call that was attended the night before by the frontline officer."
Gaudet said normally an officer attends the scene, makes an arrest, ensures the victim is safe, and moves on to the next call. Now they have the hub unit to do followup.
"There's a big difference. When we know better we do better."
The police force has plans to expand the program, but Gaudet said they don't have the capacity to do it.
"We know it works and we want to build on it and we hope to move forward."
With files from Sarah Morin