Introducing The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative — Non-profit Organization to Help Gloucester and Other Police Departments Battle Heroin Addiction

John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Contact: Jessica Sacco (JGPR)
Phone: 978-769-5193

Introducing The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.)


Non-profit Organization to Help Gloucester and Other Police Departments Battle Disease of Addiction


Leaders of Industry, Government, Healthcare, and Education Come Together

GLOUCESTER — Co-founders Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal are proud to announce the launch of The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) — a new nonprofit organization created in response to Gloucester’s revolutionary drug addiction program.

P.A.A.R.I. is the culmination of a partnership among national leaders of business, healthcare, public sector, and education, who met shortly after the City of Gloucester and Chief Campanello announced the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, aimed at turning police officers into caregivers in the battle against the disease of drug addiction.

“This organization is the manifestation of the commitment of support we have received from so many organizations and leaders since beginning the ANGEL program,” Chief Campanello said. “Gloucester has already put 17 addicts in treatment since June 1. I am incredibly excited to see what we can do with the level of partnership we are seeing with P.A.A.R.I.”

“I’m a resident of Gloucester and when I first heard about The Gloucester Initiative, I immediately saw its tremendous potential to save lives and affect real policy change,” Rosenthal said. “As a businessperson, much of my career has been dedicated to helping vulnerable populations and creating a sense of community. Opioid addiction is an illness and Police have a unique role to play in helping direct addicts into treatment.  P.A.A.R.I. will be a vehicle for individuals and businesspeople to support the Gloucester Initiative as well as assist other communities to compassionately help those struggling with the disease of opioid addiction. I am thrilled to begin this life-saving endeavor.”

“What has begun in Gloucester will now have the mechanisms and support systems to go farther,” said Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “I applaud the efforts of each of the board members and everyone involved with P.A.A.R.I. and am very excited to watch what comes next.”

Along with supporting the Gloucester Police ANGEL Initiative, P.A.A.R.I. will work with other police departments, drug treatment centers, municipal governments, and other partners looking to implement and support similar programs, and foster a dialogue around the unique opportunity for police departments to take direct action against the disease of drug addiction in their communities. P.A.A.R.I. will collaborate with public safety agencies and their partners to:


For decades, municipal police officers have been on the front lines of the war on drugs. Until now, they have been solely called upon to attempt to disrupt an ever-increasing supply chain. That meant police officers often found themselves arresting drug addicts as much, if not more so, than drug dealers and traffickers. In most cases, the addicts were only guilty of possessing an illegal, life-ruining substance and they faced arrest, prosecution and prison terms. In the meantime, heroin and opioid addiction has become a severe public health concern in the United States, destroying and often ending lives. In 2014 alone, over 1,000 Massachusetts citizens died from heroin overdoses

Police are often the first to encounter an addict on the streets and are thereby in a unique position to offer assistance toward recovery.

In 2015, Chief Campanello developed a revolutionary new way to fight the war on drugs by doing something about the demand, not just the supply. Under his plan, drug addicts who ask the police department for help are immediately taken to a hospital and/or placed in a recovery program. No arrest. No jail.

The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the Gloucester Police addiction initiatives, to aid other police departments to implement similar programs, and to foster a dialogue around the unique opportunity for police departments to take direct action against the disease of drug addiction in their communities. Working in conjunction with the medical community and science-based recovery programs, police departments can make a difference in their communities by saving lives from drug overdoses, reducing the number of drug addicts and opioid drug demand, thereby devaluing a seemingly endless drug supply.

P.A.A.R.I. will also work to remove the stigma associated with drug addiction, turning the conversation toward the disease of addiction rather than the crime of addiction. We work directly with treatment centers to secure scholarships and fully-funded in-patient programs for addicts while working with police departments, pharmacies, and families to put nasal Narcan into as many hands as possible. We recognize that while it is not a panacea, Narcan can save the life of an overdose patient and give that person another opportunity to get into treatment and fight their disease.

P.A.A.R.I.’s mission has drawn wide support from multiple fronts, including from members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, several of whom met recently with Chief Campanello in Washington.

“By viewing an individual as a potential patient with a substance use disorder, instead of treating them as a criminal, we have a chance to break the cycle of addiction and reduce both demand and supply of illicit drugs,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “I applaud the creation of this new initiative and will fight for the resources Massachusetts cities and towns need to battle this scourge devastating our families.”

The idea is spreading quickly. Gloucester has fielded inquiries from police departments across the country, and recently Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the city may model the Gloucester Initiative in Boston.


A dedicated group of leaders bring their unique perspectives to P.A.A.R.I.:


Chief Campanello created and implemented The Gloucester Initiative — a program that works to get addicts the help they need as opposed to charging them criminally — in an effort to change the way the department handles the drug and opioid epidemic in town. The policy went into effect on Monday, June 1. Click here to view the official police policy document. Chief Campanello’s program immediately gained support from leaders throughout the country, spurring the creation of P.A.A.R.I.

John is President of Boston-based Meredith Management, a real estate development and management firm with offices in Newton and Springfield. He is also the founder and Chairman of several successful nonprofit organizations including Friends of Boston’s Homeless and Stop Handgun Violence.


Richard is a partner in the Boston Office of McGladrey LLP, the fifth largest accounting firm in the U.S., where he has been a champion of diversity and inclusiveness for many years.

Zoe is the Executive Director of Stop Handgun Violence. Prior to joining Stop Handgun Violence, she worked in the real estate industry and attended Lewis and Clark Law School.

David is a Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. He was the Founder and Director of Join Together, a national program to help communities develop effective addiction prevention and treatment strategies. He was Commissioner of Health and Hospitals for the City of Boston from 1975-1983.

Dr. Samet is Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, Professor of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health and Chief of General Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center (BMC).

Laura is President and Chief Executive Officer of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.

Bruce is a Partner at the Law Firm of Goodwin & Proctor.

Mariann is the Executive Director of Friends of Boston Homeless. She has over 20 years of fundraising and development experience with nonprofit/non-governmental organizations in the U.S. and in Latin America

For decades, Matt has provided strategic planning, event planning and management, public advocacy, public relations, government relations, grass top and grassroots campaign execution, and strategic and crisis communications advice to corporations, nonprofit organizations, and real estate developers as well as national, regional, and state elected officials.

Alice is a former Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County. She is the past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the past Treasurer of the American Bar Association.

Charles is a former member of the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee for Substance Abuse. He has developed and implemented 17 substance abuse and transitional programs over the past 25 years.


A former Boston Globe staff reporter and deputy press secretary to the late former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, John founded John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC (JGPR) in 2014. His staff provides full-service public relations and digital communications to police and fire departments, municipal governments, and non-profit organizations. JGPR has had an active role in The Gloucester Initiative since its inception.

View a full list and photographs of the Board of Directors at the organization’s website.


P.A.A.R.I. would not be possible without the support and dedication of our partners, who willingly devote their time, knowledge and resources to our mission.

GOODWIN PROCTER, a global law firm based in Boston provides P.A.A.R.I. with a variety of pro bono services surrounding its 501c3 status, initial incorporation policies and legal procedures and filings.

MCGLADREY, a leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services, will provide P.A.A.R.I. with accounting services free of charge.

MEREDITH MANAGEMENT, a second-generation family-owned real estate development and management business owned by John Rosenthal, is providing staffing, office, logistics, and support services to P.A.A.R.I.

P.A.A.R.I. is launching with generous financial contributions from Beth and Linzee Coolidge, Friends of Boston’s Homeless, Stop Handgun Violence, and support from the Veterans Affairs Police Department.