LEPH2021 Conference Director, Professor Jennifer Wood, talks about the importance of listening to frontline police officers as part of the Kensington Transit Corridor Overdose Response Study
The presentation will include a showing of the full film plus interviews with the researchers, Professor Jerry Ratcliffe, Temple University (USA), Thomas Nestel III, SEPTA Police chief (USA) and Hayley Wight, Temple University (USA).
This presentation is currently scheduled for Mol3 (Day 1, Monday 22 March at 1:30 PM – 2:50 PM EST)
In 2019, 1,150 people died from drug overdoses in Philadelphia, up 200% over a decade. Eighty percent (80%) of these deaths involved opioids. The crisis is concentrated in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, which has emerged as ground zero for the worst urban opioid crisis in the country. One of Philadelphia’s two main subway lines runs directly through Kensington, and these trends have placed significant pressure on the transit police. The Kensington Transit Corridor Overdose Response Study was designed by the region’s transit police (SEPTA Police Department) to improve police responses to opioid overdoses in one of the most concentrated overdose hotspots on the US eastern seaboard. A dedicated vehicle (OSCAR ONE) and officer have been assigned to respond to overdoses on the transit system, and now officers are paired with social workers from a local agency. Temple University researchers have been evaluating the project with over 300 hours of field work and observations. Using unique video footage, interviews and quotes from the area’s police officers, this presentation explores the implementation challenges based on the dynamic environment of the city and policing. It also offers insights into the officers’ perspectives on the opioid crisis in the largest drug market on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The two lead researchers and the SEPTA Police Chief will be available for questions during the video (on chat) and afterwards.