Police Chief Magazine: “Spotlight: A New Approach to a Growing Crisis."
Understanding that arresting those with substance use issues was not necessarily decreasing that individual’s substance abuse, Tucson Police Department Assistant Chief Kevin Hall set out to find a new approach that might bring more positive results to the community. Partnering with local treatment providers, he ultimately developed the Unified Medicated Assistance Treatment and Targeted Engagement Response (U-MATTER) program. The program’s initial goal was to save lives by decreasing the number of fatal overdoses in the city; however, Assistant Chief Hall acknowledged that U-MATTER’s goal was not being met due to the proliferation of fentanyl within the area. Therefore, the department had to pivot and find a solution that would positively impact its community members.