Gloucester Initiative Receives Support from Learn to Cope, Cape Ann Clergy

Gloucester Police Department Press Release

Gloucester Police Department
Leonard Campanello, Chief of Police
197 Main St.
Gloucester , MA 01930

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003

Gloucester Initiative Receives Support from Learn to Cope, Cape Ann Clergy

GLOUCESTER — Police Chief Leonard Campanello and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken would like to acknowledge the support the Gloucester Initiative’s ANGEL program received from Learn to Cope and the Cape Ann Clergy.

Learn to Cope, a partner treatment center, wrote a letter of support on July 15, praising the work of Chief Campanello and the Gloucester Police Department for helping people combat their addiction. View the letter here.

“We are honored to help in any capacity in supporting families in Gloucester and surrounding areas with support, education, resources, and hope,” said Joanne Peterson, Founder and Executive Director of Lean to Cope. “…We at Learn to Cope commend Chief Campanello for his extraordinary work and innovative and courageous efforts in Gloucester that have already brought about change in the lives of people who have reached out for help.”

On Good Morning Gloucester, the Cape Ann Clergy posted a letter to the entire surrounding faith-based community on July 17, pledging their help to the ANGEL program.

“As clergy we understand the deep, hidden pain of people struggling with addiction. We have seen the stigma that drug addiction, in particular, causes,” the letter reads. “We believe that the love of God and inherent dignity of every person compel us to come alongside those who struggle and suffer, whether they are in positions of power and prestige or have been relegated to society’s margins.”

The ANGEL program 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. Those in need of help are put into treatment programs as opposed to jail cells. The policy went into effect last month in an effort to address a growing opioid epidemic and to reduce the number of overdoses in Massachusetts. Click here to view the official police policy document.

“The Gloucester Initiative would not be where it is today without our partners and the community,” Chief Campanello said. “We greatly appreciate all the kind words of encouragement we’ve received during the launch of our program. ”

As of Tuesday afternoon, 76 people have been placed into treatment programs by the Gloucester Initiative since June 1, when the program began. 

“The continued support we receive for the ANGEL program is overwhelming,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “Every partnership we make allows us to continue moving the Initiative forward to save lives.”

Chief Campanello and businessman John Rosenthal have launched 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 and the immediate positive feedback from local, state and national organizations.