Friday, April 29, 2016
Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello Honored as “Champion of Change” by White House
Washington, D.C. — The administration of President Barack Obama is honoring Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello today at the White House for his revolutionary ANGEL Initiative that works to combat drug addiction.
Chief Campanello has been named a “Champion of Change” by the White House, as part of a program created to recognize the efforts of individuals doing extraordinary things to empower or inspire their communities. This year, 920 people nationwide were nominated for the honor, and Chief Campanello was named one of 10 Champions of Change.
“I don’t consider myself a champion of anything, and certainly not deserving of this recognition,” Chief Campanello said. “As police officers we’re in a position to help people and that’s what we try to do that when looking at addiction.”
The ceremony includes U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli, and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Chief Campanello was nominated for the award by the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which provides funding resources, facilitates and enhances coordination of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in designated areas across New England, enabling them to combine and leverage resources and capabilities to carry out activities to address the specific drug threats of those areas. While typically focused on enforcement and supply disruption, the HIDTA program has recognized the demand side of drug addiction as a critical piece of the puzzle.
The White House described the Chief’s award as follows: “Chief Campanello has worked to end the stigma of addiction by adding law enforcement’s voice to those suffering with substance use disorders. In May of 2015, in response to the growing epidemic of opioid use disorders, he announced policy change that those with substance use disorders could ask for help and seek treatment by walking into the station, with or without drugs, and without being charged with a crime. The policy also provided free Naloxone (an opioid overdose antidote) for anyone in need. In the 10 months since it began, the Gloucester Program has brought 425 people directly to treatment with no criminal penalty and no solicitation of information, and has reduced crime and costs associated with addiction in Gloucester and rebuilt trust between the police and the community. The policy’s success led to the creation of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, which facilitates the proliferation of the Gloucester Program to over 100 communities in 22 states and partnerships with 250 treatment centers and growing.”