ST. CLOUD -- Law enforcement, social workers, college students and other community members gathered in St. Cloud Thursday for the 2nd annual Police and Social Services Conference.

Consoler Teboh is a professor in the Department of Social work at St. Cloud State University. Teboh and colleague Sylvester Lamin developed the conference last year to help bridge the gap between the police and community.

The idea is to create opportunities for social workers to work directly with police officers on the street when responding to domestic situations and those with mental health issues.

Teboh says police officers aren't trained in some of the nuances of mental health or domestic situations. He says a partnership to bring social workers along on calls could help diffuse many potentially volatile situations and keep officers and community members out of harms way.

Lamin and Teboh hope to grow the conference every year and some day see actual collaboration on the street both in the St. Cloud area and statewide.

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