APD and Lehigh County plan to expand crisis intervention program

Written by on August 31, 2021

 APD and Lehigh County plan to expand crisis intervention program

By Tyler Pratt

August 31, 2021

Image by Diego Fabian Parra Pabon from Pixabay

The Allentown Police Department is hoping to expand a program that could reduce some interactions with law enforcement and help connect people with social services. 

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The Community Intervention Specialist (CIS) program has been around for a few years. APD Acting Chief Charles Roca spoke at the most recent Lehigh County virtual update on Aug. 27.

“Our officers will go out on different calls for service, they’ll see a need for the community,” Roca said. “It might not rise to the level of police intervention but we are able to connect people with resources.” 

He said officers use the service when they determine their presence may not be appropriate for certain issues.

“[Issues] Such as housing, such as mental health concerns,” Roca said. “And our officers will provide a referral to our community intervention specialist who will then connect that person with resources. 

The plan, Roca said, is to add an intervention specialist to each of the department’s four platoons.

And Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong says he also hopes to increase these resources across the region. 

Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin said he supports the effort, as well. 

But the agencies involved don’t have a cost or a timeline yet for the rollout. 


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