Law Enforcement Assisted Division Program launches in Wicomico Co.
SALISBURY, Md. – Wicomico County has announced the launch of a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (LEAD), a partnership between the Salisbury Police Department, Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Wicomico County Health Department.
The program, modeled after other evidence-based LEAD programs across the country, is designed to improve the quality of life for many of our most vulnerable populations with increase collaboration between public health and public safety. This program helps high utilizes of law enforcement who have unmet or unmanaged behavioral health needs and links them with intensive case management services.
The Community Policing Unit will make social contact referrals of eligible individuals, referring them to case managers who can connect them to various care and resources. We’re told these potential resources include primary medical care, mental health or substance use treatment, harm reduction services, housing, food, and other social service benefits. Officers with the Salisbury Police Department will refer individuals based on social contact and not those who have committed arrestable offenses.
Helping citizens who could benefit from intensive case management services rather than traditional criminal justice system resolutions demonstrates SPD’s commitment to improving the quality of life for the individuals who live, work, and play in Salisbury.
This program is aiming to improve the relationship between public health and public safety, reduce the rates of recidivism, and provide SPD officers with an additional tool assist with the alarming number of social service related calls they receive. In addition, the program aims to:
- Reduce rates of overdose deaths in Wicomico County
- Reduce cost to the criminal justice system by providing support services in place of jail and prosection
- Reduce harm of substance use to individuals and the community
- Reduce crime and recidivism
- Improve community-police relations