Police Social-Work Collaboration in Response to the World Trade Center Attacks

November 2003 (VOL. 21, NO. 3)

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This paper utilizes the lessons learned from police-social work collaboration in response to the World Trade Center attacks to build capacity for the future of police-social work collaboration in response to mass emergencies and disasters. A collaborative disaster response provided during the early hours and days following the attacks, before the American Red Cross and other agencies were involved are described. Social workers and other mental health professionals collaborating with law enforcement personnel to provide a disaster response can assist law enforcement agencies with their community service and community policing functions. The benefits and barriers to police-social work collaboration, and social work practice roles are discussed as they relate to disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and collaborating effectively with law enforcement personnel.