KCPD seeks resources for increased social services program

Gina English began her Social Services Coordinator position at KCPD Central Patrol on December 1, 2016. On November 2, 2017, she spoke with media about how the program has grown in the past 11 months.

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News

Eleven months ago, Gina English walked into KCPD Central Patrol to begin her first day as the division’s Social Services Coordinator. English had been tapped to run an experimental pilot program by Central Patrol Major Rick Smith, who had been impressed with her performance while both were working with the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (NoVA).

It was the beginning of a nine-month pilot, and neither Smith nor English knew what would become of it. From the beginning, though, Smith had faith.

“Obviously, I wouldn’t be in this arrangement if I didn’t trust her. I know her pretty well,” Smith said at the time. “I think this has good potential. I’ve watched her talk to people before, and they’re just so much more open than with an officer in uniform.”

In the intervening 11 months, much has changed. Major Rick Smith became Kansas City’s Chief of Police in August. English’s pilot position was extended for another year in September. Now, Smith and English are working together to identify funding to install a Social Services Coordinator position at every patrol division.

On Thursday, November 2, English addressed the media about the future of the Social Services Coordinator program. She described her time as KCPD’s only Social Services Coordinator as a whirlwind ride.

Gina English speaks at KCPD HQ in Thursday, November 2.

“He took a chance on it. I’m very grateful,” English said. “Now to see him as Chief, and with the possibility and hope that he’ll be able to continue to support and grow this project department-wide, is pretty phenomenal. I never thought on the first of December that he would be sitting in the Chief’s position and we would have come this far.”

While English is working closely with Chief Smith’s office, she still calls the Central Patrol Division home.

“I still am working out of Central Patrol, but I am helping coordinate those efforts in identifying funding and putting together proposals, and just looking for opportunities to bring more funding into the community for this position,” English said.

On English’s first day in her new position, she spoke with the Northeast News about what her job might entail. She wanted to be proactive about developing a plan for handling the curfew at the Country Club Plaza, and to communicate regularly with the Jackson County Prosector’s Office to identify potential clients. She also expected to work with the Kansas City Crime Commission, which controls court-ordered community service in the city.

English has found success in the role, whether she was gathering information from teens at the Country Club Plaza, establishing a curfew diversion program, or helping to provide social services for homeless Kansas Citians who were removed from The Ridge homeless camp in March of 2017.

To his credit, Smith empowered English to tackle social issues as she saw fit throughout the city.

“There are a lot of departments nationwide that use social workers in house, but typically it is with a single focus,” English said. “Whether it’s crisis prevention or mental health or youth or violent crime or domestic violence or homelessness…we don’t want this to be a program that only focuses on this one specific thing.”

The next challenge? Expanding English’s role throughout the department.

“He’s been amazing in his support,” English said of Smith. “Now it’s a matter of, how do we grow it? How do we build on the successes that we’ve had in Central Patrol and take it department-wide?”

Comments are closed.

  • Kansas City Museum seeking artists for work at Corinthian Hall

    10 hours ago
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The Kansas City Museum has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking three artists interested […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 40 – on the state of the Missouri Legislature with District 19 State Rep Ingrid Burnett

    January 19th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On this week’s edition of the Northeast Newscast, we sit down with District 19 State […]


    Not Horsing Around – KCPD wants your horse

    January 19th, 2018
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News The Kansas City Mounted Patrol Unit is looking for recruits, and they’re not horsing around. […]


    SVN closed Wednesday due to burst pipe

    January 17th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Scuola Vita Nuova (SVN) lost power at around midnight on Tuesday, January 16, causing the […]


    Local church foots coffee bill at Eleos on Jan. 17

    January 17th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News LifeConnection Northeast church has pledged to pay for every cup of drip coffee ordered at […]


  • East Patrol Captain acknowledged by Chiefs for role in saving life

    January 17th, 2018
    by

    Paul Thompson Northeast News After the Kansas City Chiefs disposed of the Oakland Raiders 26-15 on December 10 at Arrowhead […]


    A Day of Service at Northeast High School

    January 17th, 2018
    by

    Katrina E. Williams Northeast News   On the morning of January 15, a group of volunteers including members of AmeriCorps, […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 39 – Americorps VISTA Ana Ramirez discusses serving Northeast KC

    January 12th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Since September of 2017, Ana Ramirez has worked out of the Mattie Rhodes Center in […]


    Eleos Coffee to Host a “Roasting and Toasting the Coffee” Business Social Hour

    January 12th, 2018
    by

    Katrina E. Williams Northeast News Eleos Coffee, located at 3401 Independence Avenue on the South-East corner of Indiana, will be […]


    KCMO Mayor, Chief of Police stand together against violent crime

    January 11th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On Wednesday, January 10, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and KCPD Chief of Police Rick […]


  • What’s Happening

    The Legend Of Old “Wide-Awake”

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Vaughn’s Diamond was a prominent building constructed in the late 1860’s by early Kansas City real […]

    CID: Soma Somali Shopping Center and El Torito III

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Local Weather