38 Law Enforcement Officials in 20 States Call Recovery Act “A Hollow Victory”
GLOUCESTER — The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) has sent a letter to President Barack Obama and members of Congress expressing the disappointment of the organization and its 140 police and sheriffs departments and 250 addiction recovery and treatment centers in the removal of virtually all of the funding from the “Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016.”
Members of Congress stripped the more than $1 billion requested by the President that would have been earmarked for treatment, prevention, and recovery services.
“To pass this legislation without the funding to support it is a hollow victory for those working to save lives,” the letter reads. “Without funding for state programs, access to treatment will continue to be a barrier to recovery. With additional funding of over $1 billion, we could turn this epidemic around and curb the mounting death toll. Significant funding is needed now to improve access to effective opioid treatment, enable safe disposal of unneeded drugs and strengthen prescription drug monitoring.”
The letter was signed by P.A.A.R.I. founders Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal, as well as 38 law enforcement officials from 20 states across the country.
“Every 11 minutes, we lose another life to overdose in the United States. Over 130 Americans die every day from opioid and heroin overdoses. Our police officers and sheriffs deputies are on the front lines literally watching people die while funding for treatment programs is stripped away by our Congress,” Rosenthal said. “Our police chiefs, who come from red and blue states alike, are providing new entry points into treatment where none have existed and we’re urging Members of Congress to re-consider this desperately needed and life-saving funding.”
P.A.A.R.I. is encouraging members of the public to be heard on this issue by visiting PAARIUSA.org/petition and adding their name to this call for action.
Those signing the letter included:
- Chief of Police Leonard Campanello, of Gloucester, Mass., P.A.A.R.I. co-founder
- John Rosenthal, Chairman and co-founder of P.A.A.R.I.
- Chief of Police Fred Ryan, of Arlington, Mass.
- Chief of Police Timothy Lentz, of Covington, La.
- Deputy Chief of Police Ed McGinn, of Worcester, Mass.
- Chief of Police Michael S. Richard, of Newton, N.J.
- Chief of Police Stephen Raiport, of Village of Gowanda, N.Y.
- Chief of Police Rich Bialkowski, of Cobleskill, N.Y.
- Chief of Police Fred Harran, of Bensalem Township, Penn.
- Chief of Police Keith Keogh, of Lodi, Ohio
- Chief of Police Edward James Walsh, of Taunton, Mass.
- Chief of Police Jonathan Ventura, of Arlington, Wash.
- Sheriff Eli Rivera, of Cheshire County, N.H.
- Chief of Police Danny Langloss, of Dixon, Ill.
- Chief of Police M.E. Nerber, of Village of Phoenix, N.Y.
- Chief of Police Kenneth Joyner, of Appalachia, Va.
- Chief of Police Thomas Bashore, of Town of Nashville, N.C.
- Chief of Police Janet Hadley Champlin, of Bartlett, N.H.
- Chief of Police Barry Connell, of Newark, Ohio
- Chief of Police Douglas Wyman, of Sandwich, N.H.
- Chief of Police Scott Allen, of East Bridgewater, Mass.
- Chief of Police John F. Carmichael, of Walpole, Mass.
- Sheriff John Simonton, of Lee County, Ill.
- Chief of Police Kenneth Strish, of Berwick, Penn,
- Chief of Police David Rausch, of Knoxville, Tenn.
- Chief of Police Tim Barfield, of Wellington, Ohio
- Assistant Chief of Police E. Joseph Wehrfritz, of Orchard Park, N.Y.
- Chief of Police Thomas Hanley, of Middlebury Vt.
- Chief of Police Darrin Moody, of Shelton, Wash.
- Chief of Police Tom Davoren, of Groton, Conn.
- Chief of Police Kenneth Hatmaker, of Jeffersontown, Ky.
- Administrative Sergeant Brittney Garrett, of Jeffersontown, Ky.
- Chief of Police Robbie Moulton, of Scarborough, Maine
- Chief of Police Robert Sawtelle, of Hull, Mass.
- Chief of Police Doug Bracy, of York, Maine
- Chief of Police George Kral, of Toledo, Ohio
- Chief of Police Adam Klimczak, of LaPorte, Ind.
- Chief of Police Leonard Weatherbee, of Moultonborough, N.H.
- Chief of Police Brett Botbyl, of Menominee, Mich.