Erlanger looks to hire social services coordinator to help residents

ERLANGER, Ky. -- A few months ago, Erlanger Councilmember Jessica Fette came across a family that faced citations for not fixing their roof. 

They didn't know where to turn, so Fette stepped in and made some calls.

"I contacted a couple of resources in our community -- St. Vincent de Paul being one of them, -- and got the two of them together and resolved their issue," Fetter said.

The incident got Fette thinking about the city hiring a citizen resource advocate. Then she heard Alexandria police had hired a social worker named Kelly Pompilio, and that she was doing a first-rate job.

That got the ball rolling to the point where the Erlanger council approved a similar hire for their city. 

"It's bridging the gap to make sure that our citizens -- the ones that need help -- understand what's available to them," Fette said. 

Police Chief Todd Brendel said it's going to free up officers to respond to radio runs more quickly and cut down recurring calls to the same location for issues related to heroin overdoses and code violations.

"I think it's an absolute no-brainer," he said. 

The social services coordinator will also help the fire department, EMS and building department. 

Lt. Jon Sterling said he knows the program will work. When he was a community resources officer, he helped a Korean War veteran whose health was failing. He became the man's guardian.

"It feels good knowing that he's being taken care of ... because he didn't have anybody," Sterling said.

That's the kind of service residents can expect once the job is filled. 

"You're putting a face to a potential problem and helping the person that is having the problem," Sterling said. 

Brendel called the new position "a great benefit to our city." 

"It's going to help us as a police department by cutting some of those recurring calls back and forth, but it's also going to benefit our fire department, our general government, our codes because they can use this person to go out and look at some of their incidents that they have, too," he said.

The position was posted last Friday. Applications (click here to print) will be accepted through the end of the year. Officials hope to have the position filled by mid-March.

"We're just recognizing a need within our community," Fette said.

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