Lee County Safe Passage Initiative Begins Sept. 1, Has Already Placed 4 People in Treatment

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

Dixon Police Department
Danny D. Langloss, Chief of Police
220 S. Hennepin Ave.
Dixon, IL 61021

Lee County Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff John Simonton
306 S. Hennepin Ave.
Dixon, Illinois 61021

For Immediate Release

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003

Lee County Safe Passage Initiative Begins Sept. 1, Has Already Placed 4 People in Treatment

P.A.A.R.I. Steps in with $2,500 Grant to Assist with Transportation of Participants

DIXON, Ill. — The program does not officially begin until Sept. 1, but the Lee County Safe Passage Initiative has already placed four people suffering from heroin addiction into treatment centers throughout Illinois. Two additional people have come forward this week, and treatment centers are being sought for them as well.

“There was uncertainty when we announced this program. Would anyone trust the police to help them seek treatment for their addictions?” said Dixon Police Chief Dan Langloss. “Now we know the answer, with six people coming forward before we even ‘started.'”

Earlier this month, Lee County Sheriff John Simonton and Chief Langloss announced The Safe Passage Initiative: Police Giving Hope to Addicts Through the Tools For Recovery, an addiction recovery initiative modeled after Gloucester, aimed at encouraging addicts to seek the help of police officers and sheriff’s deputies, who will in turn get them into treatment.

The program makes Lee County and Dixon the first agencies in Illinois to partner with The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.).

P.A.A.R.I. Founders John Rosenthal and Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello are pleased to announce that the organization will send a $2,500 grant to Dixon to help subsidize transportation costs associated with placing program participants into treatment.

“One of our barriers to entry was transportation. There are few treatment options in this part of the state, and we have to bring participants to treatment centers that are sometimes many hours away from here,” Sheriff Simonton said. “Thanks to our partnership with P.A.A.R.I., this barrier just got lower for us.”

Since Aug. 18, four men have been placement in treatment centers. All four suffer from heroin addiction, and three of them have been suffering from opioid addiction for more than 20 years.

Two participants were placed into treatment at Chestnut Health Systems in Bloomington, Ill. One participant is at the Robert Young Center in Rock Island, Illinois, and the fourth person is in treatment at Sinnissippi Centers.

Lee County Sheriff John Simonton and Dixon Police Chief Dan Langloss earlier this year collaborated with Safe Harbor of Lee County, as well as PRISM of Lee County, Lee County Health Department, Sinnissippi Centers, and KSB Hospital, State’s Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller, and A Man in Recovery Foundation of Naperville, Ill. to launch an addiction recovery forum. Those productive discussions eventually led local officials to reach out to the Gloucester Police Department for more information on the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative. While not identical, the Safe Passage Initiative is inspired by the groundbreaking Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, in which the police department directly places those suffering from addiction into treatment, rather than arresting people for simple possession charges.

“We are happy to help Dixon and Lee County get this program of the ground,” Chief Campanello said. “We cannot and will not arrest our way out of this public health crisis, and these law enforcement leaders recognize that. P.A.A.R.I. is proud to stand with them.”

About P.A.A.R.I.

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:

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.