Wednesday, June 1, 2016

MWHITF: Agenda for Meeting 4

On the agenda for meeting four of the Task Force is a presentation on "Innovative Public Safety Strategies" currently being employed by law enforcement in Marion and Polk Counties as an alternative to the expensive, ineffective and sometimes harmful "broken windows" approach to law enforcement that became popular in the 1980s. 

These strategies, which are not all that new, include specialized mental health training for public safety officers (so they can staff a crisis response team), diverting "quality of life" crimes like low-level alcohol and drug offenses to community based treatment/support services (law enforcement assisted diversion or LEAD), and trying to reduce the harm associated with certain unlawful behaviors, rather than punishing in hope that the behavior will be eliminated (harm reduction model). 

We've previously linked to information about Seattle's LEAD program (here and here they are again), shared our conversations with Officer Vanmeter (here and here they are again), and blogged about how SPD warns the "homeless camps" when a "cleanup" is planned and takes along social workers to conduct outreach (here that is again).  The police understand, of course, that homelessness is not properly a public safety issue (see here).            

The Task Force plans to spend 40 minutes hearing about these strategies, right after they discuss "Target Populations."  No idea what that's about, or what "Possible Action" they might be asked to take, but no doubt Janet will let everyone know what the answer wants to be when the time comes.

And that's about it for Meeting #4, except for going through the motions of "ratify[ing] additional subcommittee [sic] members", "adopt[ing] any subcommittee [sic] proposals" and taking public comment.  Here for the reader's convenience is the agenda posted this morning:

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