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New Waco police unit is seeking to change lives for the better

Posted at 10:23 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 11:28:37-04

For months, the Waco Police Department has been developing a new way to help people in the community.

In January, they started a new unit called the Career Criminal Apprehension and Supervision Team.

This team of four officers is supervised by Sgt. Chet Long who says they looked deeper into their arrests to draw of list of people they could help instead of apprehend.

"In this case, an alcohol or drug problem, how are we able to connect them with resources for those problems. Trying to fix some of the issues instead of putting band-aids on some of those issues the traditional way," said Sgt. Long.

The unit was able to change the life of 45-year-old Laron Hicks who found himself falling through the cracks.

"I grew up in a family with uncles that were alcoholic and drug addicts. My alcoholism got worse which led to me going to prison and a bunch of run ins with these guys, 31 times in one year," said Hicks.

The unit focused on finding the right resources to help change his life for the better.

"This unit gives our officers a chance to really dive into someones life and really change their life instead of us dealing with someone on a 5 min. basis from you calling 911," said Officer Garen Bynum.

With help from the Heart of Texas MHMR Reintegration Program, a center focused on providing responsive support, they were able to provide Hicks with a thirty day rehabilitation Program at Cenikor Foundation.

"To see someone look completely different than they did a month ago is just an amazing feeling," said Dorothy Clark, Program Manager at MHMR Reintegration Program.

It's an experience Hicks says he will forever be grateful for.

"My next step in my life is to keep being sober and try to help as many people as I can who is in the same position as me I am grateful these guys did this, they got me help and I feel better and my outlook is brighter."

So far, Hicks is the first person helped by the new unit.

Their goal is to continue helping as many people as they can and Waco PD is asking for your help.

If you know of any organizations who can provide helpful services, you can give them a call at 254-750-7598.