David Scott, Chief of Police
59 Main St.
Pepperell, MA 01463
For Immediate Release
Friday, Dec. 4, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Pepperell Police Department Hosts Opioid and Addiction Roundtable
Will Join P.A.A.R.I. to Create Recovery Program
Department Seeking Part-Time Health Clinician to Coordinate Outreach and Recovery Resources
PEPPERELL — Police Chief David Scott hosted local stakeholders Thursday morning to discuss what could be done locally to combat the growing nationwide opioid epidemic, and he announces today that the Pepperell Police Department will join the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) as it seeks to create a program to help those affected by addiction seek treatment and regain their lives.
With a map of recent overdose deaths in Middlesex County displaying the hard fact that Pepperell has seen more human loss due to overdoses than all surrounding communities combined, local leaders discussed how to move forward with outreach and awareness strategies.
Representatives from NM Cares, LUK, Inc., Pepperell Family Pharmacy, P.A.A.R.I., the Pepperell Health Department, the Pepperell Council on Aging and several town departments offered their perspectives and exchanged ideas. Chief Scott, joined by four members of the police department and Town Administrator Mark Andrews, discussed the Pepperell Community Outreach Initiative Network (COIN) that Chief Scott submitted for creation as part of his budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
“I am requesting the funding of two of our four unfilled police officer positions, specifically for drug investigations and education in our schools, as well as a part-time mental health clinician to coordinate outreach to addicts and their families,” Scott told the group, “But this is a draft and I am open to any ideas from the community. This isn’t just a police department issue, but we recognize the role we can play in being part of the solution.”
Group members discussed the possibility of sharing resources with neighboring towns, perhaps all pitching in for a mental health clinician to coordinate outreach on a regional level. The availability of grant funding was also discussed. Chief Scott later reached out to area police chiefs, and a meeting is scheduled amongst them to discuss a potential regional approach.
“I look forward to meeting with other local chiefs soon to discuss this matter. I’d like to thank everyone who attended Thursday’s meeting. It was great to see so many people joining with us to battle this epidemic. I’m excited about what we as a community can accomplish by working together,” Chief Scott said. “It’s a team effort.”
Attendees at Thursday’s meeting plan to attend the next Pepperell selectmen’s meeting to present their ideas to the selectmen.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) 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 addicts 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.