PLYMOUTH — Plymouth County Outreach is pleased to share the success of its first in-person visit by mentees as part of the federal Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion Mentor program.
PCO hosted five sworn officers and two civilian employees from Wausau, Wisconsin, along with Hope Fiori, a representative from the TASC, Inc. (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) Center for Health and Justice and the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program’s (COSSAP) Technical Assistance team that helps to coordinate these mentor visits.
Over the recent two-day visit, the mentees shadowed PCO team members out in the community and met with PCO outreach officers, advisory board members and team members.
PCO was selected by the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance to become a national mentor for the Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion Mentor program in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of PCO’s past mentees have been hosted virtually.
The mentor program provides communities interested in implementing a law enforcement/first responder diversion program with the opportunity to learn from programs that have shown success in meeting their communities’ treatment needs.
Communities who visit PCO as part of the program send representatives from the key groups involved in a collaborative diversion program, such as law enforcement, public health and recovery organizations.
Law enforcement/first responder diversion refers to overdose response plans where first responders, working in partnership with substance use disorder treatment providers and peer recovery coaches, may refer overdose victims to treatment and recovery support services rather than the criminal justice system.
“The Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion Mentor program facilitates peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of best practices, and is a great way to expand the positive impacts diversion programs can have across the country,” Plymouth County Outreach Executive Director Vicky Butler said. “We’ve seen our approach to diversion in Plymouth County be successful, and we are pleased to be able to share our experiences to help support other communities looking to start or expand similar programs.”
Plymouth County Outreach would like to thank its partners across the county who contributed to the success of the visit, including: Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth; law enforcement from Brockton, Plymouth, Carver, Middleboro and Kingston; the Homeless Improvement Project in Brockton; Champion Plan in Brockton; the Gandara Center in Brockton; Stairway to Recovery in Brockton; and Kelley Research Associates.
About Plymouth County Outreach: Plymouth County Outreach is a collaborative of police departments throughout Plymouth County led by the following chiefs: Abington Chief David Del Papa, Bridgewater Chief Christopher Delmonte, Bridgewater State University Chief David Tillinghast, Brockton Chief Brenda Perez, Carver Chief Marc Duphily, Duxbury Chief Stephen McDonald, East Bridgewater Chief Paul O’Brien, Halifax Chief Joao Chaves, Hanover Chief Timothy Kane, Hanson Chief Michael Miksch, Hingham Chief David Jones, Hull Chief John Dunn, Kingston Chief Maurice Splaine, Lakeville Chief Matthew Perkins, Marion Chief Richard Nighelli, Marshfield Chief Phillip Tavares, Mattapoisett Chief Jason King, Middleboro Chief Joseph Perkins, Norwell Chief Edward Lee, Pembroke Chief Richard MacDonald, Plymouth Chief Dana Flynn, Plympton Chief Matthew Ahl, Rochester Chief Robert Small, Rockland Chief Nicholas Zeoli, Scituate Chief Mark Thompson, Wareham Chief Chief Walter Correia, West Bridgewater Chief Victor Flaherty and Whitman Chief Timothy Hanlon.