Building Partnerships with Law Enforcement to Combat Addiction
For almost 70 years, The Crossroads Center has been serving its community by bringing health, hope and new life to those it serves. We continue to be actively engaged in the issues that are negatively affecting our neighbors including the opioid crisis, mental illness, addiction. Three exciting and productive conversations have recently taken place that are enhancing the partnerships between The Crossroads Center and local law enforcement in an attempt to seek treatment rather than incarceration for those who are ready to take the next step in their recovery journey. These partnerships are critical to the implementation of The CrossroadsCenter's focus on both treatment and prevention.
The first conversation was with Trina Jackson, Director of Reentry with the Hamilton County Office of Reentry. The Hamilton County Office of Reentry has created the LawEnforcement Assisted Diversion (L.E.A.D.) program, which develops partnerships with law enforcement, the court systems, and treatment agencies like The Crossroads Center, to reduce the number of people who are stuck in the cycle of addiction, chronic homelessness and mental health disorders. Ms. Jackson stated, "studies show that treatment is more effective and less costly than incarceration."
The next conversation was with Chief Eliot Isaac and Lieutenant Colonels Paul Neudigate and Mike John of the Cincinnati Police Department. They shared with The Crossroads Center that the biggest need that CPD encounters in this area is the need for a "warm handoff," that is, somewhere to bring people immediately when they encounter community members who are ready to seek help. Also discussed was how The Crossroads Center could become a therapeutic resource for officers in need of our services.
The most recent conversation was with Chief Synan, Police Chief of the Newtown Police Department. He is an international advocate for ‘treatment over incarceration’ and helped form the Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition of which The Crossroads Center is a member. Chief Synan reminded us of the need for leaders and agencies like The Crossroads Center to come together and develop a holistic approach to addiction treatment.
Jamahal C. Boyd, Sr., CEO of The Crossroads Center said, "We, at The Crossroads Center, believe that in order to create a collective effort that combats addiction and identifies new approaches that engage every stakeholder to play their specific role in meeting the needs of the community, new conversations have to take place, new relationships have to be created and new ways of executing need to happen!" The Crossroads Center is perfectly positioned to partner with local law enforcement and serve as a key part of the solution by being committed to closing the gap, thinking creatively and entrepreneurially about this public health crisis.