Leonard Campanello, Co-Founder
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative Surpasses 100 Police Department Partners in 24 States
Partners from Maine to Washington to Louisiana Teaming up to Fight Addiction
GLOUCESTER — Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal, co-founders of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), are extraordinarily pleased to announce that the organization’s roster, in less than 11 months, has burgeoned to 106 police departments in 24 states as law enforcement agencies nationwide have partnered with P.A.A.R.I. to help people suffering with the disease of addiction in their communities access treatment and begin to take back their lives.
Last June, Chief Campanello and Rosenthal launched P.A.A.R.I., a nonprofit organization created to support law enforcement agencies as they work with those suffering from the disease of addiction by removing the stigma and placing them into treatment instead of behind bars.
Since its inception, one by one, police departments throughout the country have come forward, committed to compassionately altering the way addiction is handled in their cities and towns.
“It’s an honor to stand with so many of my fellow law enforcement leaders across the nation as a unified voice working toward the same cause,” Chief Campanello said. “As public safety officials, we are charged by our communities with treating this illness with dignity, compassion and respect while working to try and help those affected. Additionally, because law enforcement is on the front lines of so many issues, it is our responsibility to intervene when we can, before further harm is done, before arrest even, if we can. The fact that so many law enforcement officials from around the country agree is shifting the way in which we engage with our respective communities.”
Today, 106 police departments, sheriffs, and other law enforcement agencies in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin are working with P.A.A.R.I. to change the stigma of addiction and help support and place people suffering with the disease of addiction into long-term treatment.
All law enforcement P.A.A.R.I. partners acknowledge that opioid addiction is a chronic disease versus a crime, which needs treatment not jail.
“P.A.A.R.I. began as an innovative law enforcement-based entry point into treatment and recovery for anyone suffering with the horrific disease of opioid addiction. In less than a year, we have already helped change the national conversation from opioid addiction as a disease versus a crime and placed 427 people into treatment in Gloucester alone and another 500 through the 106 police department partners around the country,” Rosenthal said. “What we started in Gloucester, with Chief Campanello’s bold ANGEL Initiative, is now a national model that will continue to grow and lead to a long term treatment system for opioid addiction, just like cancer, diabetes and any other chronic disease.”
The number of new P.A.A.R.I. partners is expected to grow dramatically over the next several months as 20 more police departments in Massachusetts and two counties in New Hampshire are in the process of joining, and many more in other states are lining up. The Illinois Chiefs of Police Association recently endorsed that state’s local P.A.A.R.I. programs, which encourages others to follow in the footsteps of Dixon, Rolling Meadows and the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.
P.A.A.R.I. was started to support local police departments as they work with those struggling with the disease of addiction. 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 police departments and those struggling with the disease of addiction. Since its founding, police departments in 24 states have joined as partners with the initiative.