'The wave of the future': How police and social workers partner up to help those in crisis

At a time when calls to “defund the police” reverberate throughout the country — and cities explore ways to reduce violent encounters between law enforcement and Black Americans — criminal justice experts and local officials point to that collaboration as a step toward easing tensions between police and communities of color.

“Social workers by nature focus on the root cause of the problem,” said Howard Henderson, director of the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University. “They are focused on de-escalation.”

He said such collaborations should be “the wave of the future.”

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