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Meredith Hurley


Winthrop Department of Public Health



Session Title: 

Community and Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery, an evidence-based, recovery-oriented community policing methodology that successfully united public safety with public health through people with lived experience in Massachusetts

Session Details: 

The Winthrop Departments of Public Safety and Health initiated a collaborative effort to engage with community members facing mental health and/or substance use challenges. By 2015, this collaboration had evolved into the Winthrop Community and Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery (CLEAR) Team. Originating from a practice initially implemented by a single peace officer and later adopted department-wide, the initiative involves leveraging information from dispatch logs and incident reports to proactively reach out to community members affected by mental health and/ or substance use challenges and connect them with people who have lived experience and are in recovery. This presentation aims to elucidate how this approach fostered community trust, revolutionized public safety and health departments, elucidated the CLEAR methodology's foundational mechanics, and offered insights on replicating the program in other communities across the nation.

What are you looking forward to most at #MPRCCT2024?

This is my first time attending and I am really looking forward to networking with others who are working in all aspects of recovery and gaining as much knowledge as possible!

Meredith Hurley

Meredith Hurley has worked for the Town of Winthrop beginning in 2014 and has served as the Director of Public Health and Clinical Services since 2019. In her role as the Director of WDPH&CS, public health programming, and capacity have steadily been increased through sustained and expansive cross-sector relationships that are free of charge and not dependent on third-party payer systems. Current initiatives focus on vaccination access, substance use disorder programming, mental health supports, and Intimate Partner Violence programming. The Winthrop Community and Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery (C.L.E.A.R.) Program is co-led with the Winthrop Police Department to address the impacts of addiction and mental illness. The goals of this program are: 1) decrease the number of residents in Winthrop using substances in an unhealthy manner; 2) utilize police data to identify those at risk due to substance use; 3) Conduct face-to-face outreach to offer supports through an in-house peer recovery specialist; 4) Provide harm reduction measures such as Naloxone and Fentanyl test strips.

The WDPH&CS actively seeks opportunities for bi-directional learning and innovation. Currently, the WDPH&CS serves as a mentor through the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance COSSAP, and provides mentorship to public safety agencies across the country to build peer recovery systems similar to the Winthrop C.L.E.A.R. Program. Finally, Meredith actively seeks and maintains partnerships within local academic institutions to conduct community-based participatory research.

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