UPPER DARBY – Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer today announced the kick-off of the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI) in Delaware County. LETI is a program that allows individuals seeking treatment for addiction to use local law enforcement as a resource to contact participating treatment partners without the threat of arrest. To date, eight counties have initiated a LETI program; Delaware County will be the largest county in the Commonwealth to launch this initiative.
Under LETI, individuals can contact a member of law enforcement at any time to ask for a referral or to be connected to treatment with no threat of arrest or prosecution. This policy also allows law enforcement officers to connect individuals to treatment at their discretion. Through the efforts of the Delaware County Department of Human Services, the County has received grant funding to ensure that law enforcement officers have the resources they need to obtain “fast track” assistance for individuals who seek their help through this program.
“As Pennsylvania recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot forget the ongoing opioid epidemic that takes the lives of twelve Pennsylvanians every day,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Connecting individuals to the treatment they need will save lives and make our communities safer, and I commend Berks County District Attorney John Adams and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer for their commitment to tackling this crisis that impacts every community in our Commonwealth.”
Shapiro said under LETI partnering Delaware County law enforcement agencies will:
• Open their station doors to those suffering from addiction.
• Help identify treatment for those who seek it.
• Assist with ensuring that people have transportation to the facilities.
• Maintain relationships with local treatment providers to understand availability of services and collect data to study outcomes.
“My office has been gratified by the response this program has received from police departments across Delaware County. We chose to formally announce the launch LETI in Upper Darby because – as the sixth largest municipality in the Commonwealth – we know that the potential benefits of the program to the Upper Darby community are particularly clear. As we have collaborated on our plans for LETI, we have received the enthusiastic support of Upper Darby’s mayor, Barbarann Keffer and its police superintendent, Timothy Bernhardt, and that support will be essential to the success of the program,” said DA Stollsteimer.
“LETI is a true diversion program for non-violent individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system on account of drug dependency. Together with our Drug Treatment Court and the Second Chance Court, this is another tool in our toolbox to get people help that works,” said Stollsteimer. “As we have worked on the development and implementation of this program, we have been assisted enormously by the staff in the Attorney General’s office, particularly Agent Janene Holter, the coordinator of the LETI program, and we are extraordinarily grateful for that assistance.”
“”The LETI program saves lives and families by recognizing and treating addiction as what it is: a disease and not a crime. I am grateful to Attorney General Shapiro and DA Stollsteimer for all of their vision, leadership, and work to bring this life-saving program to Upper Darby and Delaware County. It fits perfectly with my administration’s focus on community policing and also smart policing because that’s what earns the trust of our residents and makes us all safer. By providing a balance between treatment and enforcement, LETI is an innovative component of 21st century public safety strategy.” said Mayor Barbarann Keffer.
“LETI is an innovative and flexible program for law enforcement to use in their efforts to tackle the ever-evolving drug epidemic, and I am happy to implement it here in Upper Darby. As a former narcotics officer, I have seen first-hand the scourge of drug addiction. It destroys lives, and anything that we can do to help an individual with addiction issues avoid jail and receive treatment is a benefit to the entire community,” said Upper Darby Police Department Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt.
For press inquiries, please contact Margie McAboy, Public Information Officer, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, 610-579-0429.