A better understanding of Baltimore will lead to better policing. That’s the idea behind “The History of Baltimore,” a speaker series developed by Police Commissioner Kevin Davis after last year’s uprising as a way to give police officers a better understanding of the communities they serve. Topics include the history of Baltimore neighborhoods, the Orthodox Jewish community, and the LGBT community.
Last week, OSI’s Drug Addiction Treatment program, led by Scott Nolen, facilitated “Understanding Addiction in Baltimore City,” as part of the series. The lecture offered an in-depth look at the city’s heroin problem. Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB), an OSI grantee working to train Baltimore City police officers in the use of naloxone, explained the city’s response to the drug addiction epidemic. Carlos Hardy, a recovering addict and CEO of Maryland Recovery Organization Connecting Communities (M-ROCC) and Dr. Christopher Welsh, medical director of University of Maryland Medical Center’s Substance Abuse Consultation Service, talked about recovery, support, and treatment options. The group heard personal stories from those in recovery too.
“You cannot arrest your way out of this,” OSI director Diana Morris said in an interview with WBAL TV. The seminar, she said, was a way for the police officers and trainees in attendance to not only understand this history of drug use in the city, but the treatment that is available and “the fact that it’s effective.”
Said one officer in the WBAL report, “That’s what we’re here for, to help people, get them into a clinic, get them help, and at the end of the day, once they get the help, they can be productive citizens.”
Screen shot from WBAL TV