Montgomery recognizes social worker for ‘immeasurable’ community impact

The Village of Montgomery is honoring Police Department social worker Erica Lopez for her contribution to the community during National Social Worker Month.

In honor of National Social Work Month, the Village of Montgomery is celebrating the contributions of social workers to the community, and honoring Police Department social worker Erica Lopez for her role in building a stronger, more compassionate community.

This year’s theme, “Empowering Social Workers! Inspiring Action, Leading Change,” underscores the transformative impact of these dedicated professionals, and the village is recognizing recently hired Lopez for her contributions to the community.

Lopez joined the police department in August 2023, and the village has since seen firsthand the incredible benefits of social work in community policing, according to a recent news release from Police Chief Phil Smith.

“The mental health crisis is real, and policing has adapted greatly to best support community members,” Smith said in the release. “We are fortunate to have an administration that understands the importance of social work’s role in law enforcement, allowing us to be a leader in the face of the mental health crisis. Erica’s impact is immeasurable.”

The new social work program aims to enhance the well-being of residents by providing essential services, crisis intervention, and community outreach within the Montgomery Police Department.

“Our commitment to fostering a supportive environment is unwavering, and this program represents a significant step towards achieving that goal,” according to the release.

Montgomery Village President Matt Brolley (Left) and police social worker Erica Lopez (right).

Lopez is a licensed social worker who spearheaded the village’s first-ever social work program, which she has quickly developed into a well-rounded program available for external and internal stakeholders of the village, according to the release. She brings extensive experience in criminal justice and social services and a wealth of knowledge and compassion to her role, according to the police department.

“My goal is to provide an approach to everyone that is non-judgmental, one that includes a little compassion mixed with a hint of humor,” Lopez said in the release. “Working with people during some of the most traumatic and challenging periods in their lives can be difficult, but knowing that I am providing them with the resources they need to start the process to be whole again is extremely rewarding.”

The social work program provides a wide range of support services, including:

  • Short-term crisis intervention for emergencies such as domestic violence, child abuse, suicide, or fire.
  • Resource support for individuals and families for issues such as domestic disputes, substance abuse and mental health concerns.
  • Coordination with other social services providers such as schools, hospitals, and mental health facilities.
  • Support for victims of crime, including emotional support and referrals.
  • Community engagement and education through special events and activities.

Lopez holds a master of social work degree with a concentration in forensics from Aurora University. She is trained in domestic violence, is a certified moral reconation therapy facilitator (targeting criminogenic needs), and utilizes evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavior (BCT) and dialectical behavior (DBT), according to the release.

In her first seven months with the Montgomery police, Lopez handled 90 cases covering various social services issues. Of these cases, 48% relate to mental health management and support, 86% directly support residents of Montgomery, and the remaining provide support to local individuals whose families reside in the community, according to the release.

Lopez is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of Montgomery residents. She can be reached at 331-212-0990 or via email at

For more information about the Village’s Social Services Division, visit