New program lets IMPD take people to detox

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Officials in Indianapolis have launched a program that allows police officers to take people struggling with substance abuse issues, mental health problems and homelessness directly to a detox facility instead of jail or to a hospital emergency room.

The city’s Office of Public Health and Safety and the police department say they’ve just launched a pilot program to see if people they pick up during disturbance calls in the downtown area might be better served if they were taken to the Reuben Engagement Center. The program is the first of its kind in the city.

Public Health and Safety Director Paul Babcock tells the Indianapolis Star that if the pilot program works well over the next six months, it will be rolled out to the rest of Marion County.