For Immediate Release
Friday, March 25, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Escanaba Police Join P.A.A.R.I., Become First Partner in Michigan to Begin Addiction Recovery Program
Police Place Initial Participant Into Treatment This Month
ESCANABA, Mich. — Police Chief Kenneth Vanderlinden is pleased to announce that the Escanaba Department of Public Safety has partnered with The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) to further its Volunteer ANGEL Program.
The program launched on Feb. 23 and works to help residents in Delta County recover from their addiction through treatment. The department placed its first participant on Tuesday, March 15 at the Mission Teens Inc. Treatment Center in Gaastra, Mich.
Modeled after the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, Escanaba police will work with residents who are struggling with the disease of addiction by assisting them into a recovery program. Community members looking for help are encouraged to visit the Escanaba public safety building to turn over their drugs and paraphernalia. In turn, they will be treated with respect and will not be arrested or charged with a crime.
Designated volunteer “angels” work with participants in the program by guiding and supporting them through the recovery process. At the launch of the initiative, police had 20 volunteers sign up, and to date, 23 “angels” are involved. Residents who indicate a need for inpatient services will be paired with treatment and recovery centers locally and from P.A.A.R.I.’s nationwide network.
“We have received amazing support from our community for our Volunteer ANGEL Program,” Chief Vanderlinden said. “Our goal is to help our residents recover from the disease of addiction, and through our partnership with P.A.A.R.I., we are able to offer assistance from beyond state boarders to ensure that no person is denied the help they need to recover.”
Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal, co-founders of P.A.A.R.I., welcome the Escanaba Department of Public Safety to the organization. They are pleased to be working with their first police department in Michigan and look forward to assisting law enforcement leaders move their addiction recovery initiative forward.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) was launched to support police departments around the nation as they work to help those suffering from the disease of addiction. The United States faces a nationwide heroin and opioid epidemic, with more people now dying from overdoses than from car accidents in this country. 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 those struggling with the disease of addiction to 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 police departments and those struggling with the disease of addiction.