For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Bucyrus, Ohio Police Department Partners with P.A.A.R.I. to Begin Addiction Recovery Initiative
BUCYRUS, Ohio — Chief David Keopke is pleased to announce that the Bucyrus Police Department has joined the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative to begin its addiction recovery program, Operation HOPE (Heroin-Opiate Prevention Effort).
The program was launched on Sept. 14 and is modeled after the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative.
Members of the Bucyrus Police Department have seen firsthand the devastating effects addiction can have on a city or town. Between 2011 and 2014, heroin-related deaths in Ohio increased 714 percent, while Fentanyl-related deaths were up 378 percent.
Through Operation HOPE, police seek to reduce the impact of heroin and opiate abuse on the community and encourage those who suffer from the disease of addiction to seek help and obtain a life in recovery.
“We recognize that addiction is a disease, and that to assist our residents in recovering from this disease, we must be proactive in pairing those who ask for help with treatment options,” Chief Keopke said. “Collaborating with local and national partners, volunteers and residents, we will tackle the demand side of this epidemic and promote a healthier, safer community.”
Working with Crawford: 20/20 Vision’s Public Safety and Drug Abuse Action Team, Together We Hurt, Together We Heal, Maryhaven and Volunteer ‘First Step Coaches’, the Bucyrus Police Department implemented a three-prong approach to tackle the opiate epidemic: Enforcement, Education and Treatment. Officers will:
- Vigorously target and arrest those trafficking and dealing dangerous drugs.
- Treat those suffering from addiction with compassion, care and concern – while fairly enforcing the law.
- Allow residents to voluntarily turn in drugs, needles and paraphernalia without fear of arrest.
John Rosenthal, Chairman of P.A.A.R.I., would like to commend the Bucyrus Police Department for implementing an addiction recovery initiative in the community to help all those struggling with this disease. Bucyrus Police will join several other Ohio police departments working to end the stigma of addiction.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) was launched to support police departments around the nation as they work to help those suffering from the disease of addiction. The United States faces a nationwide heroin and opioid epidemic, with more people now dying from overdoses than from car accidents in this country. 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 those struggling with the disease of addiction to 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 to bridge the gap between police departments and those struggling with the disease of addiction.