Chief Leonard J. Wetherbee Jr.
PO Box 121
1035 Whittier Highway
Moultonborough, NH 03254
For Immediate Release
Monday, Dec. 21, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Moultonborough Police Department Becomes first P.A.A.R.I. Partner in New Hampshire
Will Launch Addiction Outreach Initiative
MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. — Police Chief Leonard J. Wetherbee Jr. announces that the Moultonborough Police Department will partner with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) to create and launch an addiction outreach and recovery program.
Under the P.A.A.R.I initiative the Police Department will seek out those suffering from the disease of addiction and pair them with treatment and recovery centers, drawing from P.A.A.R.I.’s nationwide network and cultivating its own treatment partners locally and elsewhere. “During vacation season our population increases from 4,400 to approximately 25,000, mostly from out of state. Joining P.A.A.R.I. allows us to utilize a nationwide network when making referrals for treatment options.”
“The mission statements of P.A.A.R.I. and the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, resonate with me as a police chief. New Hampshire faces an unprecedented addiction epidemic, and it is not something that we are going to enforce our way out of,” Chief Wetherbee said. “We can and must do more. There is some great outreach work being done in the Lakes Region, much of it led by the Laconia Police Department. Joining P.A.A.R.I. helps us with the treatment piece of the puzzle.”
The Police Department remains committed to aggressively enforcing the drug laws, especially when it comes to investigating and arresting drug dealers. However, once a drug dealer is arrested, police are often left with their list of customers. Additionally, the police and fire departments have responded to numerous calls for drug overdoses this year.
These arrests and medical calls leave police with collections of people, usually town residents, who are living in the grip of addiction.
“Rather than holding this information for possible future enforcement action against those that are addicted, we are choosing to be proactive,” Chief Wetherbee said.
Moultonborough Police Officers, as part of their regular duties, will reach out to these people and their families. The goal of the Initiative is to educate families, help provide information regarding the administration of potentially lifesaving Nasal Narcan, and to make addicts and their families, friends, and caregivers aware of treatment options and resources available to them.
The program closely models the Arlington Outreach Initiative, created by Chief Frederick Ryan.
And the ultimate goal, of course, is to pair those suffering from addiction with treatment centers, including detox and long-term residential treatment options.
There are five main components to the Initiative:
1. The Moultonborough Police Department will conduct outreach and refer prospective participants who wish to seek treatment for their addiction.
2. The Police Department, working with P.A.A.R.I.’s treatment partners and by cultivating its own relationships with local, regional, and national centers, will work to place participants in treatment programs based on their individual needs.
3. The Police Department will provide training for all department members on the potentially lifesaving Nasal Narcan.
4. The Police Department and its partners will advocate for the creation of more treatment facilities in New Hampshire.
5. A volunteer system will be developed to assist those seeking help, along the same lines as the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative.
“The Gloucester Police Department remains steadfast in its commitment to end the stigma and facilitate care for the disease of addiction. We commend forward thinking law enforcement agencies who abandon judgment and embrace helping those most in need,” said Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello. “We will change this conversation.”
“P.A.A.R.I. and Gloucester Police have received a multitude of phone calls from people affected by addiction in New Hampshire, and we are very reassured by the addition of Moultonborough to our organization,” said John Rosenthal, co-founder and chairman of P.A.A.R.I. “We hope and expect to announce several more law enforcement partners from The Granite State Soon.”
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.