April 13, 2021 – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro held a press conference at the Berks Rise Center on April 13, highlighting the state’s LETI (Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative) program. The Council on Chemical Abuse’s Blue CARES – Next Step program is a part of that initiative, and Berks is one of only seven counties in the state currently participating.
Through LETI, law enforcement officers are trained to assist individuals suffering from substance use disorder by introducing them to treatment. The goals of the program are to: reduce deaths, end stigma, strengthen police/community relationships, train officers to better help individuals struggling with addiction, and connect individuals with organizations that can provide help.
Shapiro called LETI “a grassroots effort to make treatment more accessible, and help from those who people trust most in their communities more available for those suffering from addiction.”
“We can not arrest our way out of this crisis. We need to treat drug addiction as a disease, not a crime,” Shapiro said.
Watch the entire press conference below.