7 Scottsdale specialists work to provide intervention expertise

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The Scottsdale Police Intervention Services unit is a special group of seven individuals that work year round with the Scottsdale Police Department to provide crisis intervention expertise to those in need.

The unit is made up of seven professional crisis intervention specialists that work with the police department to direct individuals in need to agencies that can help them. One of the areas they work in is substance abuse.

The unit responds in multiple ways. They can respond over the phone or in person. They can provide police personnel with on the scene help or they may come to the jail to talk with someone who has been arrested or detained. They also respond to parents who may call in, concerned about their son or daughter, or an abuser who themselves seeks help.

PCIS has been in Scottsdale for 40 years and overtime their program has stayed the same.

“We have increased staff, but not a lot has change to how we deal with substance abuse issues. The drugs themselves come and change,” Tracey Wilkinson of PCIS said.

PCIS connects those who reach out to them with services, such as Community Bridges. From there PCIS can help coordinate or provide transportation to these facilities and services.

Another way that PCIS and the Scottsdale PD both work to eliminate drug abuse is through initiatives such as the “Drug Take Back,” which is taking place on Saturday, April 30.

“Police departments try to be proactive and not always reactive – they provide ways to eliminate drugs and get them out of the residence before they can be abused,” said Ms. Wilkinson.

The Drug Take Back day is a day where people can come to drop off their prescription drugs to Scottsdale PD. This is apart of the Drug Enforcement Agencies National Take Back Initiative, which “aims to provide a safe convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs,” according to the DEA website.

The Drug Take back will be at the Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 E. Osborn Road,10 a.m.-2 p.m, to return unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal with Scottsdale Police.

Besides this one day, there are drug drop off locations around Scottsdale. For more information, visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/police or e-mail Officer Eric Bolles at EBolles@ScottsdaleAZ.gov.

Editor's Note: Ms. Fowler is a student journalist at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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