The Social Work Law Enforcement (SWLE) Project, a pilot program launched in August 2020, was created by Dr. Isabel Logan, an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Lt. Matthew Solak of the Willimantic (Connecticut) Police Department. The Project has evolved into a statewide collaboration that may serve as a national model for the emerging field of police social work. It was recently featured during a NAMI Conference on Crisis Response Solutions.
Co-founder and Executive Director Logan, a licensed clinical social worker, said the program may likely be one of the first specialized training programs in the country that prepares social workers and police officers to work alongside each other. “Despite police social work being around for decades, this is still a very new area,” Logan said. “There has been limited specialized training in this field.”
Dr. Logan along with co-founder and Law Enforcement Director Lt. Solak will talk about how the program started, how it has grown, and how it has helped improve service for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.
Executive Director Isabel Logan, Ed.D., LCSW earned a BSW from Saint Joseph College (presently the University of Saint Joseph), an MSW from Fordham University, and a Doctorate of Education from the University of Hartford. Before joining the faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University in 2016, she worked for 20 years as a social worker for the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services. In 2001, Dr. Logan was selected to assist with developing the Cultural Proficiency in Drug Court Practice: Training of Trainers Manual for drug court professionals. Dr. Logan has received many awards for her work.
Law Enforcement Director Lieutenant Matthew Solak is a 17-year veteran of the Willimantic Police Department, presently serving in the Administration Division. In 2021, Lieutenant Solak testified before the Connecticut General Assembly on topics pertaining to Police and Social Work Partnerships, and was a panel presenter at the first annual National Conference on Police Social Work. Lieutenant Solak is a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University and is presently pursuing his Master’s Degree in English from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Join us to hear her speak at our May General Meeting. Register ahead of time to receive the zoom link.