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Substance abuse grant lets police partner with non-profits

Police Departments could be subcontracted by the non-profit to deliver drug identification or prevention curriculum

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency recently announced up to $1,491,130 in funding for state Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction.

The funding is available to nonprofit organizations to support projects designed to educate the public about the dangers of substance abuse, and/or reduce demand for these substances.

Although law enforcement agencies are not eligible to apply directly for funding through this grant, it does provide an opportunity to partner with a local non-profit agency to deliver programs in the community.

Police departments could be subcontracted by the non-profit to deliver drug identification or prevention curriculum. Officers assigned to schools and community policing initiatives could work with the non-profit to refer youth and families in need of assistance.

Many times, the officers see first-hand the destructive effect of drug abuse and often feel hampered by their inability to find solutions, outside of making an arrest, due to the lack of resources that could be funded through the SAEDR grant.

Eligible expenditures for law enforcement could include over-time reimbursement for an officer to conduct drug prevention programs in schools or at community functions. Equipment and supplies could be acquired to carry out these efforts or a database might be designed to help the SRO's communicate with providers and track progress without violating HIPAA requirements.

Several hospitals or health-related organizations have formed coalitions to address substance abuse issues. These groups are well-versed in the research-based approach and could provide additional information on how the law enforcement community can assist and be funded for their efforts.

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