CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Police Department announced Monday their expansion of the Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program into the North Lawndale, Homan Square and Austin neighborhoods on the city's West Side.
According to the mayor's office, the new program expansion is the latest part of Mayor Lightfoot's Keeping Our Communities Safe Initiative, a multi-agency, phased approach to mitigate the frequency of overdoses and violence in Chicago's neighborhoods.
The program originally launched in the Garfield Park district during the summer of 2018.
It's designed to divert individuals who buy small amounts of cocaine or heroin into substance abuse treatment as opposed to a first-time arrest for felony drug charges, the mayor's office said.
As part of the program, clinicians and addiction counselors at the local districts to facilitate diversion to substance abuse treatment when a qualifying arrest has been made or for walk-in individuals seeking assistance to join the program.
In partnership with Thresholds, one of the largest providers of recovery services in Illinois, CPD has diverted 333 Chicagoans from felony arrests into substance abuse treatment since its inception, the mayor's office said.