King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove announced on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 that the King County Council has voted to ensure that Burien’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program will be funded in the 2021-22 biennial county budget.

“When I was Chair of the Budget Committee, we expanded this program into South King County and I have fought hard over the last few months to ensure that LEAD would continue to be funded despite a tight county budget,” Upthegrove said. “We know that our community is not only safer, but more compassionate and just when we help those who are struggling to get the help they need.”

Burien LEAD is an innovative diversion program that helps keep people out of the criminal justice system and instead provides them with community-based housing, health care, job training, treatment and mental health support. The goal is to help people stay on track and avoid becoming entrenched in the system.

“Councilmember Upthegrove’s leadership helped keep this program in our community,” said Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta. “Burien is safer because LEAD’s innovative program gives people an opportunity.”

More info on the program is available here:

https://www.burienwa.gov/residents/public_safety/police/lead_program