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In Manchester, Combining Social Work and Police Work to Help Troubled Kids

Angela Delyani, a mental health advocate, and Rachel Carpenter, an advocate with the YWCA.
Photo by Emily Corwin for NHPR

A couple years ago, Manchester police lieutenant Nicole LeDoux and two colleagues decided to crunch some numbers. They found that in a single year, 400 Manchester kids had been at either domestic violence incidents or overdoses when police were called. “I remember sitting,” she said, “and being like ‘man, that’s a lot of kids. How do we deal with that?’”

LeDoux is a fast talker who oversees the juvenile and domestic violence units.

On the one hand, she said, police are charged with enforcing laws, not providing social services. On the other hand, she said, she saw firsthand that kids were experiencing trauma at overdose scenes, homicides, assaults, and more often than anything, at domestic violence incidents. Maybe a perpetrator gets arrested. The victim gets services.

The kids were being ignored.

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