Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Community-Law Enforcement Aligning in Response to Substance Use (CLEARS) Project

The Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI) at the University of Washington was funded through the Washington State Health Care Authority to conduct a one-year project to develop regional solutions to improve interactions between law enforcement and people who use drugs.

ADAI collaborated with three sites across Washington State to use a “policy codesign” process to bring together local stakeholders to develop their own solutions. This website contains information about the policy codesign process, each region’s solution, and an evaluation report on the policy codesign process.

Project Staff
Mandy Owens

Principal Investigator: Mandy Owens, PhD (she/her)

Assistant Professor, Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, UW Medicine (CEDEER)
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Washington


Mandy Owens, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI) and licensed clinical psychologist at the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Her primary role is at the Center for Community-Engaged Drug Education, Epidemiology, and Research (CEDEER) within ADAI where her work focuses on the intersection between substance use and the criminal legal system. Mandy partners with people with lived and living experience of drug use, community service providers, and criminal legal partners (law enforcement, jails, prisons) to identify local solutions to crisis response for people who use drugs, implement medications for opioid use disorder programs, and conduct research and evaluation. For fun, Mandy likes to hike, travel, read, weightlift, and is trying to learn how to play golf.

Jenna van Draanen, PhD, MPH

Co-Investigator: Jenna van Draanen, PhD, MPH (she/her)

Assistant Professor, Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing
Assistant Professor, Health Systems and Population Health


Jenna is an interdisciplinary Assistant Professor working in the School of Nursing and the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, leading the Research with Expert Advisors on Drug Use (READU) team. She works closely with Public Health Seattle & King County and other local partners on practice-based research that centers equity for people who use drugs. In the past, Jenna has conducted evaluations as a consultant for a range of community-based organizations, local and national government agencies, and international non-governmental organizations. Her mixed-methods research and evaluation work often includes the perspectives of people with lived experience through participatory approaches. When she isn’t doing research or teaching at the UW, she is hanging out with her chickens: Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morisette, Carley Rae Jepsen, and Shania Twain or puttering around her garden. She loves board games, cooking, and crafts.

Rieanna McPhie

Project Coordinator: Rieanna McPhie, BA (she/they)


Rieanna McPhie is a Continuing Education Coordinator at the Center for Community-Engaged Drug Education, Epidemiology and Research (CEDEER) at the University of Washington’s Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI). Prior to working at ADAI, Rieanna worked as a Research Assistant in psychology labs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York University, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Most recently, as a Post-Baccalaureate Research Education scholar, she worked on 1) a study examining the effects of race-based stress and trauma on biological processes and physical health among Black youth and young adults, and 2) a public deliberation study looking at people’s views on youth consent for biomedical research such as HIV research. In the future, Rieanna is interested in examining the impact of sociocultural factors (racial discrimination, microaggression, acculturation, etc.) on the mental health and ethnic-racial identity of multicultural and multiracial individuals.

Dana Pearlman

Lead Facilitator: Dana Pearlman (she/her)


Dana Pearlman designs and facilitates diverse, multi-stakeholder engagements, and action learning experiences that lead to transformational learning and social innovation. She utilizes many methodologies, frameworks, practices, principles and systems thinking. Her academic background is in clinical psychology and strategic leadership towards sustainability.

Dana’s designed and facilitated sessions for the State of Vermont, The Ministry of Education of Tanzania, California Accountable Communities for Health, Napa County Department of Health and Human Services, Accenture Tech Vision Advisory Board, Zoomdata, Swissnex, Public Health Institute's Population Health Innovation Lab, GlobeMed, Dalai Lama Fellows, California Association of Hospitals and Health Services, Sonoma Co. Sustainability and Energy Dep., Impact HUBs SF, Stanford Leadership Experiment, CIIS, Sonoma State U's CORE Leadership, Sustainability Learning Centre, BTH in Sweden: Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability.

Dana leads intensives in The Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter and workshops in Authentic Leadership from, The Lotus: A practice guide for Authentic Leadership towards Sustainability. Dana is Advisor to the SelfDesign Institute, Curriculum Advisor to Dalai Lama Fellows, Founding Board Member for The Base Camp and mentor for HIVE Global Leaders Program. Dana is catalyzing and accelerating world-changing leadership necessary to meet the profound challenges of the 21st century.

Dana uses powerful questions to unearth wisdom at the individual, team, organizational and community and systemic levels. Her intent is to steward a world that is more whole, interconnected and in alignment with our true selves for wiser + conscious impact. Her sweet spot is at the intersection of leadership, tapping into a groups collective wisdom, and cultivating communities of practice in order to become a system of influence and transform failing systems in our world. Fun fact: Something fun you like to do! painting, pickleball, dog walks and belly laughs with friends.

Amy Naylor

Lead Facilitator Amy Naylor


Amy Naylor is a recently retired Community Policing Lieutenant who is focused on building her public speaking and consulting business, Human Together, LLC. Amy became a police officer with the Olympia Police Department in Washington in 2000. Throughout her career she occupied a variety of positions and specialties including 5 years as a detective. With her goal to create a space of in-depth understanding, pivoting perspectives, and building relationships based on mutual trust and respect with the community, she created OPD’s first ever 8 weeks Community Academy in 2018. The program received high praise from the community as the “best community engagement” ever offered. Amy was also a significant contributor to the creation and implementation of the police department’s nationally recognized Crisis Response Unit (CRU) and Familiar Faces program.

Shortly after volunteering to oversee a new downtown Walking Patrol unit, Olympia saw a dramatic increase in visible homelessness concentrated in downtown. With the lack of alternative response options, Amy realized the power and necessity of approaching every interaction without an agenda, but with curiosity, grace, and truth (and sometimes the blue light special) when serving and working with incredibly complex and complicated humans. This work, combined with the anti-police national narrative occurring simultaneously, served as a significant pivot point in Amy’s approach to her profession, work, and life. Amy strongly believes that acknowledging people’s full humanity, prioritizing solutions that are long lasting rather than temporary, and being clear about the mission of one’s professional identity are the path to connection, belonging, resilience and safety in the community.

Amy is married to her best friend Mark and loves being “Nana” to two sweet boys. She loves reading, CrossFit, hiking, fashion, cooking, and interior design. She is also a classic introvert and craves deep conversation and solitude on the regular to refresh and refuel.

Jeff Myers

Law Enforcement Consultant: Jeff Myers


Jeff Myers is a retired Chief of Police who assists the project as a Law Enforcement Consultant. Jeff has 34 years of experience as a peace officer in Washington state, including the last 16 years as chief of police before retirement in 2022. Serving 13 years as a gubernatorial appointee on the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission with the last 10 years as chair, promoting state Accreditation for Washington law enforcement agencies for 24 years and testifying in the Legislature as a law enforcement subject matter expert on behalf of the Association of Washington Cities. He also works as a law enforcement consultant for the Department of Commerce and Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention.

Jeff and his wife Monica, who is a retired firefighter/ paramedic, live in their small log cabin in the woods outside of Cle Elum surrounded by trees, turkeys, deer and a couple of feet of snow in the winter.  Their youngest son Cameron serves as a patrol deputy for the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office.

Allyn Hershey

Drug Use and Health Consultant: Allyn Hershey (they/he)


Allyn is joining the team this new cycle as a consultant who has lived experience of substance use to help facilitate and mediate codesign sessions between stakeholders. They served as a codesign participant in the Thurston region between 2022-2023 as a member of the founding codesign process team.

Allyn currently works as a Harm Reduction Associate – Program Project Manager for King County Public Health. In this role, they distribute naloxone and fentanyl test strips across King County and help provide training to the community that range across the spectrum of harm reduction.

Previously, Allyn has been the director of a youth homeless shelter, drop in, and outreach center. They then served as the director of Partners in Prevention Education (PiPE), an organization in Olympia that is a by-and-for BIPOC and Trans domestic violence and houseless services agency that prioritize the identities that are disproportionately underserved. They also have years of experience in harm reduction work, continuing to volunteer at the local needle exchange in Thurston County, making them uniquely qualified to serve as a consultant in the project. 

Allyn loves to spend time with their mother and dog Luna. They also love playing video games, watching and playing basketball, writing, and listening to an "unhealthy" amount of rap.

Consultant: Malika Lamont, MPA

Director, VOCAL-WA.

Jasmine Zhu

Former staff: Project Coordinator: Jasmine Zhu, BS

Jasmine Zhu was a Continuing Education Coordinator at the Center for Community-Engaged Drug Education, Epidemiology and Research (CEDEER) at the University of Washington’s Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI). Prior to working at ADAI, Jasmine worked as a Research Assistant in several psychology labs at UW, including one looking at reactions to alcohol cues in young adults. Before starting a career in research, Jasmine worked as an elementary school teacher and an account manager in the business sector. In the future, Jasmine is interested in examining how individual’s responses to substance use and other mental health disorders differ based on situational, temporal, biological, and other factors. She is also interested in exploring how heterogeneity in predictors and timing of individual behavior can predict and identify when problems may occur, thus identifying when to provide interventions when they are most needed.

Research with Expert Advisors on Drug Use (READU) Evaluation Team

Tessa Frohe

Team Member: Tessa Frohe, PhD


Tessa Frohe, PhD is a harm reductionist and Assistant Professor at the University of Washington where she serves as a full-time faculty member with the Harm Reduction Research and Treatment (HaRRT) Center in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Tessa has been a member of the Research with Expert Advisors on Drug Use (READU) since it formed in 2021. Her interests are informed by 10-years of substance-related research and clinical experience involving diverse topics with substance use and chronic pain, as well as her own lived experience and unfortunate loss of loved ones due to overdose related deaths. Tessa’s core values in research are to work collaboratively with people who use drugs, community members, and organizations to develop, conduct, evaluate, and disseminate evidence-based interventions that help reduce substance-related harm and improve quality of life for affected individuals and their communities. Outside of research life, Tessa enjoys hiking, doing yoga, cooking, and listening to live music.

Robert Pitcher

Team Member: Robert Pitcher

Robert Pitcher is a co-researcher on the READU, working on the King County opioid settlement community consultation project, the CLEARS project, and the King County emergency medical services strategic plan. Robert is also a peer educator with King County Public Health and has volunteered at Project Neon. His work is deeply rooted in harm reduction and outreach to underserved and at-risk communities, with a focus on HIV prevention. In his free time, you can find Robert in the garden with his dogs Pinky and Toast.

Nathan Holland

Team Member: Nathan Holland

Nathan Holland is a co-researcher on the READU team and worked on the King County opioid settlement community consultation project, the CLEARS project, and the King County emergency medical services strategic plan. Nathan is a harm reduction advocate and advocate for youth in foster care and has co-authored several papers and conference presentations on drug user health equity. Nathan has 16 years of lived experience in the foster care system and has experienced homelessness and uses his lived experience to inform his research and advocacy. Nathan seeks to continue his advocacy by serving on an advisory board of former foster care youth. He enjoys playing video games, listening to country music, and jumping in his pool on a hot summer’s day.

Grover (Will) Williams

Team Member: Grover (Will) Williams

Grover (Will) Williams is a co-researcher on the READU team and worked on the King County opioid settlement community consultation project, the CLEARS project, and the King County emergency medical services strategic plan. Will is a long-term harm reductionist and advocate with years of experience working in the community and speaking at overdose awareness community events and UW lecture series. In addition to teaching students, Will has co-facilitated harm reduction training for clinicians at the UW Harborview Grand Rounds series in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department and has worked with the Harm Reduction Research and Treament (HaRRT) Center for the past 7 years and has co-authored several published manuscripts. Will is also an avid karaoke enthusiast.

Illustration of Washington State with the state seal in the center

In 2021, the Washington State legislature passed Senate Bill 5476 (“the Blake response”) that included a new requirement for all new law enforcement recruits to be trained in substance use and substance use disorder. The University of Washington partnered with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) to develop, implement, and evaluate this new training for their Basic Law Enforcement Academy (Washington's mandated training academy for all city and county entry-level peace officers in the state). Beginning July 2022, this new training on substance use and substance use disorder was successfully implemented at the WSCJTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy. The evaluation showed improvements in knowledge of alcohol and drugs, and improved confidence to interact with people who use drugs for recruits receiving this new training.

During the development of this new substance use disorder training for law enforcement, the University of Washington conducted individual and group interviews around Washington State with more than 75 individuals, including people who use drugs, law enforcement, service providers, and other stakeholders (e.g., housing, judges, drug court). From these interviews, a clear theme discovered was the need for a regional response to improving interactions between law enforcement and people who use drugs, in addition to statewide efforts.

In response, in 2022, spear-headed by Representative Lauren Davis, the Washington State legislature funded this one-year project by the University of Washington to develop regional strategies to improve interactions between law enforcement and people who use drugs in three areas in Washington State. In 2023, this project was refunded for an additional 2 years.

Project Goals
  1. Develop regional solutions to improve interactions between law enforcement and people who use drugs through a policy codesign process, a process that brings together local stakeholders to build relationships, learn about their community, and brainstorm new ideas.
  2. Develop materials for future regions to engage in a similar codesign process and/or implement these solutions in their own communities.
  3. Learn how participants felt about the policy codesign process to inform potential future efforts.
What is Policy Codesign?
Group of people sitting around a conference-type table with a presenter at the front
  • Policy codesign brings together local stakeholders (anyone that has an interest in the outcomes of the community) to develop policies from the “ground up” to fit community needs. Policies could include both formal and informal practices, such as legislation, clinic procedures, and/or other community efforts.
  • Policy codesign was previously used by project staff in Grays Harbor to develop a medication for opioid use disorder program at the Grays Harbor jail.
  • Policy codesign was used as an approach for the current project given the focus on the community context. This also was based on feedback from law enforcement, people who use drugs, and other stakeholders while developing the substance use disorder training for the WSCJTC in 2021.
Policy Codesign Process

A series of 6 sessions in which diverse stakeholders (law enforcement, people with lived experience of drug use, service providers, etc.) came together to connect, build relationships, discuss issues in their community, and cocreate pilot solutions to improve interactions between law enforcement and people who use drugs.

Session 1:

Completed introductions, group agreements, relationship building among participants. (Agenda)

Session 2:

Developed statement and planned to talk to community members (“learning conversations”) to better understand what drug use looks like in their area.(Agenda, PPT)

Session 3:

All three sites, including Washington State Representative Lauren Davis, were gathered for Q&A on conducting learning conversations. (Agenda, PPT)

Session 4:

Shared learning conversations and used the responses to brainstorm and rank top 3 issues/solutions to tackle. (Agenda, PPT)

Session 5:

Brought together all sites to share their top 3 ideas with each other. (Agenda)

Session 6:

Developed pilot projects to address the top 3 issues/solutions to tackle. (Agenda, PPT)

2022-2023 Site Solutions: Clallam, Thurston, & Yakima
Wendy Sisk, CEO at Peninsula Behavioral Health

Each site developed a local solution to help improve interactions between law enforcement and people who use drugs.

Clallam: Officer Wellness Program, Education + Success Stories Video

Officer Wellness Program: A six-session program aiming to have officers recognize their own trauma and how this trauma may affect their work and personal life.

Education + Success Stories Video: A video showcasing local success stories of recovery and law enforcement success/positive interactions they have had with the community and to educate the general public about laws they may not know about.

Photo of a hand holding a pen and writing on a piece of paper

Thurston: Letter Writing in Jails

The Letter Writing in Jails project was spearheaded by a service provider with lived experience of substance use and incarceration that provides each person booked into the Nisqually jail with a personal, heartfelt letter he wrote encouraging them to reach out for peer services and referrals to treatment.

Photo of a circle of people all holding their hands in a pile in the center with overlayed text reading "Coalition: (n) alliance formed for a combined action"

Yakima: Continuing Strengthening Community Coalition Meetings

The Yakima group decided to continue conversations and co-learning among community stakeholders and discuss how to improve wraparound services in the local jails. This effort evolved into a monthly Community Coalition Meeting that added more stakeholders (i.e. criminal defense attorney, director of jail, director of human services in Yakima County, etc.), and is continued by Yakima County Department of Human Services.

Evaluation of Policy Codesign Process

Individual interviews were conducted with N=32 site codesign team members and staff from the internal project team to gather feedback from the process and suggestions for the future. Data were analyzed for themes and are presented in a report.

How Can Other Regions Use This Process?
  1. Regions may use existing policy codesign materials (agendas, powerpoint slides) to engage in a similar process in their own community.
  2. Regions can learn about and adopt the regional solutions developed in previous sites during FY23 (Clallam, Thurston, Yakima), tailoring parts of solutions for their own community.
  3. The website and materials also will be used to recruit new communities to engage in the codesign process across FY24/25.
What's Next? 2024-2025 Cycle
Stack of different-colored sticky notes with the top note reading "What's Next?"

Funding for the Community-Law Enforcement Aligning in Response to Substance use (CLEARS) project was renewed for two years to conduct a similar policy codesign process in four new regions around Washington state across FY24-25.