How a Heroin Crisis Sparked a Police Revolution

By Josh Mankiewicz, Izhar Harpaz, Tommy Nguyen and Jon Schuppe, NBC News

When Gloucester, MA, woke up to its heroin problem, the police decided to offer the addicts help rather than punishment.

“There is a growing acknowledgment among law enforcement authorities that getting people help for their addictions can do more to cut crime than simply putting them in jail. And in some cities, he said, overdoses are outpacing murders.

“‘It is a recognition that the epidemic of overdoses required police to look at it from a public health standpoint as well as a law enforcement standpoint,’ Chuck Wexler, head of the Police Executive Research Forum said.”

This article discusses this shift in American policing, and how it might be related to the race of the addicts.

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