BLOOMINGTON — Police social workers can provide counseling and crisis response support for community members who are in need.
That support is no different for those who work for the Indiana University Police Department.
“I wanted a policy that would allow me to help out as much as I can,” Conner Sturgeon said.
Sturgeon serves as IUPD’s first full-time social worker. The police department saw the need for a full-time position over a year ago.
“It’s just an ever-growing need. You don’t know what it’s going to look like each day,” Sturgeon said.
Sturgeon works with IUPD and the Bloomington Police Department to provide support however it is needed. He says he is on call.
“When it’s 2 a.m. and you’re alone, you need to call someone so you call 911 — we have the dispatch policy so that I can be readily available,” Sturgeon said.
Sturgeon says he can support people on anything from issues related to domestic violence claims to victims of crime to food insecurity to mental health.
“I do the initial outreach and follow-up services. I check on the individuals or refer them to other agencies if it’s something I can’t do,” Sturgeon said.
Over the last year Sturgeon says he has connected with hundreds of students.
“I’m here to be an arsenal for different resources that we can get people connected to,” Sturgeon said.
He says his work is just getting started and he won’t stop working until everyone’s needs are met.