Policing and Public Health: Advancing Harm Reduction Strategies in Law Enforcement Practices

Burdens borne by the failures of current community health and social service systems are often unfairly placed on the shoulders of law enforcement, who are gatekeepers to a criminal justice system that disproportionately affects the most disadvantaged communities in the United States. A public health approach to policing is necessary to address the health inequalities, violence, trauma, racism, and poverty at the root of many arrests, including by using the principles of harm reduction to respond to the needs of these marginalized individuals and communities.

This event will bring together the perspectives and experiences of researchers, harm reduction advocates, and law enforcement to describe how to bridge the cultural divide between law enforcement, public health agencies, and community health providers in order to protect the rights and foster the health of the most vulnerable members of society.


  • Brendan Cox is chief of police of the Albany Police Department.
  • David Cloud is a senior program associate for the Substance Use and Mental Health Program at the Vera Institute.
  • Marilyn Scales and Robert Suarez are members of VOCAL-NY.
  • Marc Krupanski (moderator) is a program officer for the Open Society Public Health Program.
Date: December 2, 2015
Time: 6:008:00 p.m.
David Cloud, Brendan Cox, Marc Krupanski, Marilyn Scales, and Robert Suarez

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