St. Pete moves forward with launch of program to send social workers on nonviolent police calls
January 8, 2021 - The St. Petersburg city council unanimously approved a nine-month $850,000 contract with Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services to hire a program director and staff for the St. Petersburg Police Department's new Community Assistance Liaison program. The program, which was announced last year following the death of George Floyd, will send community and social service professionals instead of uniformed police officers on some non-violent calls. Initially, plans call for social workers to respond to calls alongside officers, though the goal is for social workers to go out on 80 percent of calls alone by the program's sixth month. The pilot phase of CAL will run through September when council members will evaluate it and determine what the next steps will be.