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Leading the Charge

July 13, 2017
Author: 
Daniel F. Le Ray

LEAD—or Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion—is a pre-arrest program developed with nonprofits, the criminal justice system, the Seattle community and the mayor's office. It enables police officers in downtown Seattle and adjacent neighborhoods to redirect low-level drug crime or street prostitution offenders without prior violent convictions into community-based programs.

The program started with a simple question, according to National Support Director Kris Nyrop '79: "What if we could make arrest the strategy of absolute last resort for police officers when they're encountering individuals engaged in low-level drug activity?"

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