National Journalist Bo Evans this week released a video report on how Burien Police are using the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program to deal with support services like housing, health care, job training, treatment and mental health support.

Recent calls to defund police include idea proposals like LEAD, where social workers could be used for misdemeanor cases instead of processing them through the traditional police and criminal justice system.

Evans is a national investigative reporter for the television network EW Scripps, and he interviewed and followed Burien Police, including Chief Ted Boe and Detective Scott Mandella about this story on the city’s LEAD program.

“In the wake of the national dialog about defunding police, Mr. Evans has been looking for examples of successful programs having a positive impact in communities,” City Manager Brian Wilson said. “He is aware that this program is a collaborative approach where each partner is recognized as having an important role in solving complex issues and not a defunding program. The story will emphasize how partners are working together to achieve better outcomes in our community.”

Interviews occurred the week of July 19, 2020, and the story will run on multiple stations in their national network.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase Burien and the culture of collaborative efforts we have developed across our city,” Wilson added.

“Detective Scott Mandella of our Burien Police Department is showcased here on a national news story about our town,” Burien Police said. “His compassion and dedication to serving those in behavioral health crisis is commendable. Burien PD is one of the least staffed agencies in the area and by being creative we are able to get the most out of our limited resources.”

Watch Evans’ full report below, which includes appearances from Boe, Mayor Jimmy Matta, Burien Detective Scott Mandella and others:

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