DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – John Bushmaker has been on the job since June 2.
“It’s been busy,” he told Local 5. “It’s actually been more busy than I thought.”
In his work with the police department on a day-to-day basis, Bushmaker follows up with individuals and families referred to him by officers.
“My hope and my goal is to insure that folks are getting their needs met,” he explained, “and some of those things can include mental health, poverty, if someone needs insurance, also vets, dementia…”
The new position was approved by the De Pere Common Council back in February.
“I think we kind of realized when we put this in the budget that the old way of policing and then arresting someone or having someone get in trouble and then just leave it at that, we just thought that there’s a better way to go about that,” De Pere Mayor James Boyd said.
Bushmaker works as a part of the police department.
“It’s really nice that I’m actually a part of the department,” he said.
“We’re one of the few communities in the State of Wisconsin that has a Social Worker working directly with the police department,” Mayor Boyd added, “so it’s something that we’re very excited about.”