The Traverse City Police Department recently added a police social worker coordinator directly embedded within the department. Jennifer Holm, Social Worker Coordinator, joined the department in October 2022 to work alongside officers to address the link between substance misuse, mental health and homelessness through the establishment of a Quick Response Team.
Holm has developed and now facilitates the TCPD Quick Response Team (QRT) program. The goal of her position is to reduce law enforcement calls on vulnerable populations (individuals who are experiencing crises related to substance use, mental health and homelessness) by interrupting the cycle of arrest and addiction through coordinating care for QRT program participants and reducing provider barriers.
QUICK identification of resources and shortcomings of community supports for Vulnerable People in Traverse City
RESPONSE to overdoses in the community, connecting people to treatment
TEAM members who discuss needs of individuals to promote wrap-around community services
The QRT will also address (respond to) the systemic barriers to recovery by examining gaps in local social service provisions and supporting wrap-around services for vulnerable populations in the Traverse City community. Other programs only provide overdose response. We reach out a little farther by connecting with individuals most at risk for crises related to substance use, mental health and homelessness.
Holm works closely with North Boardman Community Police Officer, Justin Nowland, who also started this new role in October after nearly five years with the Traverse City Police Department. Acting as a liaison with Safe Harbor, Jubilee House, Goodwill Industries and spending time walking "the pines," both Nowland and Holm are able to assist the city's vulnerable populations by offering supportive services. Both positions are partially made possible through grant funding from the Michigan State Police as awarded under the Comprehensive Opioid Stimulant and Substance Use Program (COSSUP).