Gloucester Police Report on Early Successes Since Start of ANGEL Initiative

Gloucester Police Department Press Release

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, Oct. 26, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003

Gloucester Police Report on Early Successes Since Start of ANGEL Initiative

23 Percent Drop in Quality of Life Crimes, Figures Suggest Treatment is more Cost Efficient than Incarceration

260 People in Treatment Since June 1

GLOUCESTER — Police Chief Leonard Campanello, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, and the Gloucester Police Department are pleased to announce that the early returns are positive for the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative.

Since June 1, 260 people have been placed in treatment. In addition, 34 police departments in nine states have joined with the new Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) to create their own addiction outreach and treatment programs. This includes 17 police departments in Massachusetts.

“We are very encouraged by what we’re seeing so far. Most importantly, every person who has come to us has been placed in treatment within a day, which has quieted the “no beds” opinions,” Chief Campanello said. “Now, we are also beginning to see other benefits in crime statistics and monetary costs that also show us that we appear to be on the right path with the ANGEL Initiative.”

The Gloucester Police Department collected statistics on ancillary crimes most related to addiction, including shoplifting, breaking and entering, and larceny. The Department found that the numbers of criminal complaints dropped 23 percent from June to August this year, compared with the same time last year.

There also appears to be a passive financial benefit with the ANGEL Initiative. The Gloucester Police Department has spent about $13,750 on the program since June 1, resulting in an approximate cost of $55 per person in treatment.  The department estimates that the average cost to arrest one person, process them, and hold them in custody for one day is $220 per person.  This indicates, without even factoring in that many people are arrested multiple times during their battles with addiction, that it costs the department 75 percent less to put a person in treatment than it does to arrest them.

Additionally, no taxpayer dollars have been used on the program. All of the funding for the ANGEL Initiative has come out of the department’s drug seizure account — money seized from arrested drug dealers.

“The numbers are very preliminary, and much work and research remains to see if there is a true cause and effect relationship between the ANGEL Initiative and a reduction in crime, but this is a positive sign,” Chief Campanello said. “We are seeing real people get their lives back, and if we see a reduction in crime and cost savings, that is a great bonus. Perhaps most compelling is that we saw five suspected heroin deaths in the first five months of 2015, since the program began, we have seen one. One is still too many, but we are most hopeful that the hope of real and immediate help is saving lives”

Since the launch of the ANGEL Initiative and the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, 34 police agencies from nine states have joined in creating similar initiatives in their own departments, and 55 treatment centers from 19 states have joined as partners.

Police partners include the Arlington Police Department, which created the Arlington Outreach Model that is being used in many other communities, and Dixon, Ill. and Scarborough, Maine, which are replicating the ANGEL Initiative in their communities.