Police group says case of missing 7-yr-old highlights need for more social workers

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The tragic case of one little girl is highlighting the potential impact of the de-fund police movement, as well as the requests by police themselves for more social workers within their departments.

Harmony Montgomery, who should now be seven, hasn’t actually been seen in a verifiable way for two years. This is in spite of the fact that her father’s family has claimed to have reported her situation to authorities for years in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Fox News reported.

This led to the local police getting involved and opening an investigation for what they now say is a missing person case, as they realized Harmony hadn’t actually been accounted for since 2019 when she was five. Currently, the child’s father and stepmother are locked up on various charges ranging from child abuse to food stamps fraud.

The case has gained a certain following as it comes amidst the cries of the left for de-funding police. This has led to jokes and memes about replacing cops with social workers, usually in situations where a social worker is obviously completely inadequate.

Among some police advocates claiming to speak for the police themselves, such as Betsy Brantner Smith, spokeswoman for the National Police Association, the answer is somewhat different. Smith says that departments need funding for both and that cops need in-house social workers to assist them, especially for duties that are more routine and carry a low risk of violence, or require more specialized mental health or children’s welfare training and education.

“I just don’t think people are aware of it, and police officers overwhelmingly would welcome more social workers to be able to assist them,” Smith said, speaking to Fox News Digital.

“This talk of replacing police officers with social workers does nothing more than endanger those social workers,” Smith continued.

According to Smith, calls to de-fund police would lead to exactly more situations like Harmony Montgomery’s and that, if anything, police need more funding for hiring social workers to assist their already hard-pressed regular officers, not less.

Smith said that the ideal scenario would have a social worker in every car alongside the regular police, but noted that this was an idealized case and that obviously “nobody’s going to pay for that.”

Smith also suggested that law enforcement be empowered to work on their own community welfare issues, instead of further burdening already overwhelmed big-city and state agencies. As one such example, she pointed to the outrage after New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services became the subject of massive outrage after Nixzmary Brown was beaten to death in 2006 by her own mother and step-father in spite of repeated warnings being sent to the agency by the girl’s school.

“One of the ways that we could do to help solve this problem, which we have in every single state, is to turn some of this back over to local law enforcement. Once local law enforcement got involved, all of a sudden we’re finding that we can’t find this child and finding out what a bad guy the dad is,” Smith said, commenting on her suggestion of turning over local issues to the police.

(Video: Fox News)


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