Will respond to residents in crisis and act as a conduit to vital social services
MOUNT VERNON, Nov. 15, 2021 – The Mount Vernon Police Department has taken a major step forward in responding to the community’s growing needs by appointing its first Community Advocate.
Dan Jackman has been named Director of the Police Department’s Community Advocacy Relations Division (CARD), and is working alongside officers on calls that may benefit from the presence of a licensed independent social worker (LISW) on scene.
“The purpose of the Community Advocacy Relations Division is to bring about change, through raising public awareness, increasing support or influencing policy for certain issues,” said Jackman. “My goal as the director is to educate and help people feel enabled to take control of their own lives. I also want to provide them with the support they need to overcome health and social care issues.”
Jackman, a native of Pittsburgh who grew up in Mansfield, brings a wealth of law enforcement and corrections experience to his new position with the Mount Vernon Police Department.
After graduating from Ashland University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in education, Jackman went on to work with the Lexington Police Department, at four different prisons as a corrections officer, and as an academic advisor for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He has also worked as a case manager and counselor for Richland County.
“I am very passionate about my job and feel blessed to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Mount Vernon,” said Jackman.
According to Mount Vernon Police Chief Robert Morgan, about a third of the calls the Police Department responds to — an average of about 1,100 calls a month — require some form of social services follow-up and could be positively impacted by having Jackman available as the Community Advocate.
In particular, the Community Advocacy Relations Division will benefit Mount Vernon residents who are dealing with mental health issues, battling addiction, or contending with domestic violence or homelessness. Jackman will also be focused on aiding children in unstable environments and handling reports of elder abuse.
“We are very excited to have Dan on board and look forward to having him build this program, which will be a huge benefit to the City of Mount Vernon,” Chief Morgan said.
Morgan further noted that as Community Advocate, Jackman will be in plainclothes, not wearing a uniform, making him more approachable when people may be experiencing stress, whereas previously an officer may have been called upon to fill that role.
“We are extremely pleased that Dan has decided to join the team here with the City,” Mayor Matt Starr said. “This position has been needed in our community to fill in a gap in the continuum of care for mental health and recovery services.”