Police say they want to aid, not arrest, addicts
The Boston Globe - 10/13/2015
Leo Beletsky, a professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University, called the police involvement “a positive development” but cautioned that officers need the tools to fulfill this role effectively. Police academy training does not address the issue, and officers’ success at getting someone into treatment doesn’t win them a promotion, he noted. “Their job description does not include this kind of activity,” Beletsky said.
It’s too soon to tell whether the police interventions will prove effective. In Seattle, a four-year-old program that allows police officers to divert drug offenders to supportive services instead of arresting them has been found to reduce the likelihood of future arrest.