Police and Peers


The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) was awarded $3.16 million over four years in federal funding for Police N Peers, an innovative new diversion program that partners law enforcement with a co-responding Peer Recovery Support Specialist (PRSS). 

Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Police and​ Peers is aimed at sharing the exorbitant workload placed on law enforcement when responding to a nonviolent, non law enforcement-specific incident. Police and Peers pairs an embedded or co-responding PRSS with law enforcement to assist with social service needs during a domestic response. Police and Peers is a progressive, fast response program aimed at confronting the overdose/substance use disorder issues law enforcement face when responding to an incident. 

The PRSS is specially trained in opioid reversal, case management, and motivational interviewing and can help control and de-escalate sensitive behavioral health, drug-related, or domestic situations freeing up law enforcement to focus on the enforcement aspect and public safety. The Police and Peers PRSS will have access to resources and outreach capabilities linking individuals to substance use treatment centers, social services, and programs such as Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START), Quick Response Teams (QRT), behavioral health treatment centers, medication-assisted treatment centers (MAT) and DHHR’s continuum of services as well as Veterans Assistance services. 

The PRSS will follow DHHR’s Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) certification requirement from the West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction & Prevention Professionals. The certification carries 500 hours of volunteer or paid experience plus 25 hours of supervision with a minimum of 6 hours. Education for this position includes a high school diploma/GED and must pass the IC & RC Peer Recovery Support Specialist exam. 

The target counties for this program are Cabell, Kanawha, Logan, Mercer, Monongalia, Raleigh, and Wood. There currently are six commitments for law enforcement agencies within these regions, with a total of 10 expected by the end of the year. We are pleased to currently have partnerships with Bluefield Police Department, Fayetteville Police Department, Logan Sheriff's Department, Morgantown Police Department, and Princeton Police Department. The individual PRSS will be provided by West Virginia Sober Living and Recovery Point, depending on the region. Implementation of this program is expected by the end of January. ​

Contact Information

Jostin Holmes, MA, C-MHC-Jostin.D.Holmes@wv.gov