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Tampa Police looking to create opioid diversion program for low-level drug offenders

Posted at 5:31 AM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 06:18:10-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The City of Tampa is looking to create a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, or LEAD to help combat opioid use in Tampa Bay.

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The City of Tampa was awarded the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based Program in the amount of $900,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Grant funds will be used to hire a project coordinator and a case manager or peer support specialist, conduct training and outreach and partner with the University of South Florida to conduct evaluation activities.

A Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a pre-booking diversion pilot program developed with the community to address low-level drug and prostitution crimes.

The program allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services, instead of jail and prosecution.

By diverting eligible individuals to services, LEAD is committed to improving public safety and public order, and reducing the criminal behavior of people who participate in the program, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

City leaders are expected to approve the use of these funds on Thursday.