HORNELL, N.Y. (WETM) — The Hornell Police Department’s DIVERT program (Drug Intervention through Voluntary Education, Rehabilitation and Treatment.) aims to showcase a new way to help members of the community struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

Hornell Police Captain Mike Sexsmith spoke at the relaunching event about the program’s goals. With D.I.V.E.R.T., Hornell PD looks to reduce drug-related deaths and make sure that members of the Hornell community have a place to seek help and recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol.

The program looks to combine the department’s aggressive investigation into the sale of drugs with a new non-traditional form of policing. A small task force of DIVERT officers has been created to encourage both drug dealers and users to seek help.

DIVERT officer’s goals include maintaining weekly progress checks with people referred to the program, facilitating meetings between CASA-Trinity Peer counselors, and community outreach.

CASA-Trinity has partnered with the Hornell PD to offer treatment specialists for anybody willing to enroll. After enrollment, an appointment will be set up with a specialist who will then discuss details of the program and possibilities for recovery.

Steuben County District Attourney’s office also announced a partnership with DIVERT. A person that successfully completes treatment can be considered on a case-by-case basis for a lesser criminal penalty as a result of taking part in the program.

Hornell PD says that If somebody seeking help wants to turn their substances into the department for destruction, they are protected with an amnesty, meaning that they will not be charged with possessing them. However, This policy will not apply if the narcotics are found as a result of an active police investigation.

If you’re looking for help or are looking to refer someone to the program, you can call the Hornell Police Department at 607 324-2860. You can also contact CASA Trinity at 607 367-0472