Everett Police report new success with it's Community Outreach and Engagement program designed to take a balanced approach to the opioid crisis.
Officer Kevin Davis and Kaitlyn Dowd are one team that make daily trips to shelters and homeless camps where known drug users may be living. The goal isn't to make arrests. Instead, Dowd works alongside Davis to make personal connections with the people they meet and encourage them to find help.
It's Dowd's job to help make those pathways to housing and treatment.
"A success can be big or small. This is our most vulnerable population," she said.
Often Dowd comes across people she's met before, but have not yet chosen to seek treatment.
The team was created as a pilot project, but has since become a permanent program through the police department.
Since the COET began keeping statistics in March 2017, the team has helped 65 people get into treatment services and 102 people into housing.
The idea of compassionate policing is somewhat controversial, but Everett Police is one agency finding it can't arrest it's way out of the growing heroin problems.
"I don’t think it's ever hopeless," said Dowd. "People can be addicted for years and still change. It's always a work in progress."
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