The Bloomington Police Department recently hired a full-time professionally trained social worker to help the agency serve members of the public who are struggling with addiction, homelessness, or mental health issues.

According to WBIW Radio, Chief Mike Diekhoff announced the addition of Melissa Stone, who will help connect community members with existing services that they may not necessarily know exist. She will ride with uniformed officers, and wear apparel that clearly identifies her as a civilian service provider.

Diekhoff says that the addition of Stone to the ranks will allow officers to focus on other things.