Community input is vital

Caterina Roman, a criminal justice professor, has been brought on to the Kensington Initiative, a drug-related crime reduction research partnership. 

Roman will lead a research team that will evaluate the future successes and failures of the initiative, a collaboration between Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and local and national law enforcement aimed at reducing drug violence in the neighborhood. 

The Editorial Board applauds any attempt to reduce violence in Philadelphia but urges the members of this collaboration to make sure they put the community residents first. We hope the research Temple conducts on this new initiative will help steer police and prosecutors toward a model of policing that is reliant on community input and feedback.

Too often, drug users are viewed as criminals rather than victims of a disease and do not get the help they need to live a healthy life. We also encourage law enforcement to continue to adopt a treatment-focused perspective toward substance abuse disorder rather than a crime-focused one. 

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