Leonard Campanello, Co-Founder
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil, Executive Director
P.A.A.R.I. to Give Grant to Arlington, Mass. Police Department to Fund Addict Outreach Initiative
Arlington Police Department Becomes First P.A.A.R.I. Partner
GLOUCESTER — Police Chief Leonard Campanello, and John Rosenthal, co-founders of The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) are pleased to announce that the organization will award a $5,000 grant to a Massachusetts police department to fund the creation of a drug addiction outreach program in that community.
The Arlington Police Department and Chief Frederick Ryan today announced the creation of The Arlington Outreach Initiative, a new policing approach aimed at helping addicts in the community. Beginning this week, police officers will team up with a Public Health Clinician to do direct, door-to-door outreach to drug addicts, previous overdose patients, and their families.
The idea for the program reported came from the arrest of an alleged heroin dealer in Arlington. As is often the case, once a drug dealer is arrested, police often locate with their list of customers. These lists are literally collections of people, often town residents, who are living in the grip of addiction. Under The Arlington Outreach Initiative, the police department will now reach out to these people and their families. The goal of the Initiative is to educate families, help provide potentially lifesaving Nasal Narcan, and to make addicts and their families, friends, and caregivers aware of treatment options and resources available.
“In the past, we would not do anything with this information we learned about the customers of drug dealers, and the addicts would simply find a new dealer for their next fix,” Chief Ryan said. “The time for inaction is over.”
The Arlington Outreach Initiative is inspired by the Gloucester Police Department ANGEL Initiative, created by Chief Campanello. Gloucester’s 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 and then fast-tracks the participant into a treatment center.
“Chief Campanello has started a very important conversation among municipal police departments and police chiefs across the country, and the Arlington Police Department is following suit by implementing our own program based on Arlington’s unique needs as a community,” Chief Ryan said.
Both programs seek to make Nasal Narcan more widely and inexpensively available to addicts and their families. Both programs advocate for long-term recovery centers. Most importantly, both programs seek to end the stigma of addiction, recognize it as a disease, and put police officers in a position to directly help people suffering from it.
Additionally, the Arlington Police Department will commit a portion of its criminal asset forfeiture funding to help subsidize the purchase of Narcan for uninsured and under-insured residents who need it.
“I am extremely proud to stand with Chief Ryan at the launch of the Arlington Outreach Initiative,” Chief Campanello said. “Every community has its own unique set of challenges and opportunities, and I look forward to seeing many similar programs launch in other cities and towns. Chief Ryan has been a mentor to me, and he is a well-respected Chief in Greater Boston. I could not be happier that Arlington has taken this step.”
“The Arlington Police Department recognizes that a new approach is needed to combat the scourge of heroin and opioid addiction our nation faces,” John Rosenthal said. “We are very happy to partner with Arlington, and we are confident that this is the first of many such announcements.”
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.