Supervisor Chaffee provided $1,000,000 in Fourth District Discretionary Grants to the City of Fullerton, which will fund the hiring of two licensed clinical social workers, the purchase of equipment, and two unmarked police vehicles. The program follows Supervisor Chaffee’s efforts to bolster the public health care workforce in Orange County by creating a Master of Social Work (MSW) Stipend Program at Cal State Fullerton.
“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Supervisor Chaffee in bringing a much-needed resource to our community,” said Fullerton Police Chief Robert Dunn. “Data will be collected during this pilot program, and we hope the metrics will show that this model is successful and can be expanded or replicated in other cities.”
The Fullerton Police Department Social Worker Program represents a change in how cities approach policing in the community. By dispatching social workers alongside or instead of police officers, the program ensures that individuals in crisis receive the most appropriate and effective assistance, including crisis response, mediation, referrals to healthcare providers, and providing treatment plans and case follow-ups. Additionally, the social workers will employ de-escalation techniques to resolve conflicts peacefully.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors and Fullerton City Council unanimously approved the Program on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.