Taking on Overt Drug Markets


A reduced use of intrusive policing practices and police-community reconciliation are two of the steps needed to permanently shutter overt drug markets, according to a new guide released by the National Network for Safe Communities.

The guide provides detailed instructions for local communities seeking to put an end to drug markets that operate in public.

The “Drug Market Intervention” (DMI) was first piloted in 2004 in High Point, N.C. It's a practice that has since been adopted in dozens of cities, according to the National Network for Safe Communities.

The strategy “identifies street-level dealers; arrests violent offenders; suspends cases for nonviolent dealers; and brings together drug dealers, their families, law enforcement officials, service providers, and community leaders for a meeting that makes clear that selling drugs openly must stop.”

It also calls for a process of “racial reconciliation to address historic conflict between law enforcement and communities of color.”

The guide notes that DMI will not address a neighborhood's overall drug problem or many associated consequences, but it designed to eliminate open-air, public drug markets.

Read the guide HERE.

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