( CINCINNATI, OH ) -- Hamilton County is looking to implement a pre-arrest diversion pilot program called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD). This will allow an officer on the scene to decide whether someone needs to be arrested or rather taken to treatment.
The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition is the driving force behind getting the program in the county, and they are teaming with the city of Cincinnati and the Hamilton County Office of Reentry to try and make this work. On top of the partnerships, the Heroin Coalition has received a grant for $500,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The city would help to further fund the pilot program.
Right now, the Heroin Coalition says they're looking to pilot the program in Cincinnati Police District One, but that has not been set in stone as of yet. The city will have the final say in where the program pilot will take place.
From a law enforcement standpoint, Commander Tom Fallon says that other police departments who have implemented this program and greatly improved police-community relationships. From a jail and reentry standpoint, Commission President Denise Driehaus says this will help with jail overcrowding in the county and Trina Jackson with Reentry says this will address addictions before jail and will also help people from returning to jail.
LEAD can be tailored to fit an area's need. Since the Heroin Coalition is the current driving force behind it, it is being tailored for Hamilton County to address those addicted to opioids. Emily Manning with the Heroin Coalition says that in the future, they want to evolve the program to address homelessness, poverty, and more.