Police Deflection: Another Reason to Defend the Police
Conversations regarding police are at an all-time high as the liberal left continues to push their delusive agenda. Contrary to media portrayal, police departments often drive police diversion programs and legislation that promote public safety and aim to keep individuals out of the criminal justice system.
These types of police diversion programs include deflection (often referred to as pre-arrest diversion) and deferment. Deflection is when an officer recommends someone for community-based social services instead of an arrest. To encourage the adoption of deflection programs, in 2019 the state of Illinois enacted the Community Law Enforcement Partnership for Deflection and Addiction Treatment Act SB 3023 (Public Act 100- 1025).
This act presents police officers with a third option to the usual “arrest or doesn’t arrest” decision. Deflection connects people with community-based substance use services that address their underlying substance use and mental health problems. An alternative to the traditional case processing and involvement in the criminal justice system with necessary good faith protections for the police officers.
Following Illinois’ lead, police departments across Arizona began deflection programs that focus on juveniles, homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse. These programs were offered at low, to no-additional cost to police departments and provided officers with additional mental health training. Arizona is a national model for police deflection initiatives that organizations such as PTACC are recommending to improve communities.
The results of the Arizona programs conclude that deflection reduces incarceration responsibly with rehabilitation and increases public safety with tremendous return on investment (ROI) versus other criminal justice programs. This also restores the relationship between police and the public, which is vital in today’s atmosphere. Taxpayers save on the costs associated with prosecution, incarceration, and re-entry. More importantly, community members receive treatment and are fast-tracked to recovery instead of waiting until re-entry and after the consequences of the system. It is key to note these deflection programs are an additional alternative and do not replace current arrest protocols.
In addition to risking their lives daily, police officers champion the development of deflection and related programs. This further illustrates why Americans must continue to pray for police officers across the nation and Back the Blue.