Gloucester Police Department Press Release
Leonard Campanello, Chief of Police
197 Main St.
Gloucester , MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Friday, Aug. 14, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
The Gloucester Initiative Surpasses 100 Participants
More than 40 Recovery and Treatment Centers Partner with the ANGEL Program
Participants Voluntarily Come to Police Station for Help, in Legendary Show of Trust
GLOUCESTER — Police Chief Leonard Campanello and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken are very excited to announce that the Gloucester Police Department’s ANGEL Initiative has now helped more than 100 people suffering from the disease of addiction by placing them into treatment centers nationwide.
As of Thursday morning, 109 people have voluntarily presented to the Gloucester Police and all have been successfully placed into treatment programs through the Gloucester Initiative since June 1, when the program began.
Every person who has come into the station asking for help has been placed into treatment. No one has been sent away, thanks to the hard work of the Gloucester Police Department and its effort to forge partnerships with treatment centers who are willing to take people in, regardless of their insurance or financial situations.
Demographics are still being calculated, and several participants have been homeless, but work done so far indicates that approximately:
- 40 percent are from Gloucester and Cape Ann
- 16 percent have came from outside of Massachusetts to Gloucester seeking help
- 79 percent of participants are under age 30 (9 percent under 19, 20 percent between 20-24, and 50 percent age 25-29)
- 70 percent of participants are male and 30 percent are female
- Participants have been brought to 20 different treatment centers in six states
“At first we were uncertain that we would get anyone voluntarily coming into the police department to seek treatment,” Chief Campanello said. “But from the moment we launched The Gloucester Initiative, we continue to see people of all ages and backgrounds come through our doors looking for assistance and we have placed every, single one of them into treatment.”
The Gloucester ANGEL Initiative allows people who suffer from addiction to turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest. Those in need of help are put into treatment programs as opposed to jail cells. The policy went into effect last month in an effort to address a growing opioid addiction epidemic and to reduce the number of overdoses in Massachusetts. Click here to view the official police policy document.
Over 40 treatment centers from Massachusetts, all the way across the country to California, have partnered with The Gloucester Initiative to offer their detox and recovery services to patients, regardless of a participant’s financial means or insurance. Additional treatment partners are being added weekly.
“It is a truly momentous occasion to surpass 100 participants,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “I commend the work of all those involved. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication by Chief Campanello and the Gloucester Police Department, our treatment center partners and volunteers.”
Due to the success of The Gloucester Initiative, and the immediate positive feedback from local, state and national organizations, Chief Campanello and businessman John Rosenthal launched The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), which supports The Gloucester Police Angel Initiative as well as other local police departments as they replicate aspects of The Gloucester Initiative and work with people suffering from the dreadful disease of opioid addiction.
“The Gloucester Police Initiative has already saved lives and helped change the national conversation about recognizing opioid addiction as a chronic disease vs. a crime that we can’t arrest our way out of,” said stated PAARI co-founder John Rosenthal. “Law enforcement’s loud voice and compassionate involvement combined with business community partners, have begun to raise awareness about how to treat opioid addiction like diabetes, cancer or any other dreadful chronic illness. PAARI looks forward to continuing to work with law enforcement agencies, treatment providers, pharmacies and elected officials across the Country.”
Less than a month after The Gloucester Initiative began, the Arlington Police Department, with financial assistance from P.A.A.R.I., launched its own program to respond to drug addiction in town, called The Arlington Outreach Initiative. The Methuen Police Department followed suit, and this month, the Andover Police Department implemented similar new opioid addiction protocols.
Lee County and the Dixon, Ill Police Department followed on Wednesday, partnering with P.A.A.R.I. to start a program designed to encourage people suffering from opioid addiction to seek the help of police officers and sheriff’s deputies, who would then place them into treatment. Lee County and Dixon became the first agencies to directly implement the Gloucester intake model.
“We are incredibly encouraged by the response The Gloucester Initiative is receiving as evidenced by programs launching in Arlington, Methuen, Andover and now Dixon, Ill,” Chief Campanello said. “We are thrilled by this momentum and are committed to assisting more people struggling with the disease of addiction.”
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative was started to support local police departments as they work with opioid addicts. Rather than arrest our way out of the problem of drug addiction, P.A.A.R.I. committed police departments:
- Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
- Help distribute life saving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
- Connect people suffering with opioid addiction with treatment programs and facilities
- Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic
P.A.A.R.I. was created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal to bridge the gap between the police department and opioid addicts seeking recovery.