BOSTON — P.A.A.R.I Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade and Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent are pleased to announce that the department and its AmeriCorps service members were honored for their distinguished service to the Burlington community.
Recovery Coach Jackie Tayabji, Program Coordinator Margie Taylor, Chief Kent, Capt. Greg Skehan and Officer Robert Aloisi were presented with the P.A.A.R.I AmeriCorps Excellence Award yesterday at the graduation ceremony for the first group of AmeriCorps members embedded with eastern Massachusetts police departments to support their opioid recovery efforts.
“All our law enforcement host sites are worthy of recognition, but through their commitment to service and their community, the Burlington Police Department and its P.A.A.R.I AmeriCorps team went above and beyond to ensure that their program made a lasting difference,” Hunter McDade said. “The entire department bought into the program’s goals and supported Jackie and Margie’s efforts, which paved the way to make a significant and sustainable impact.”
Through hands-on engagement with members of the communities they serve, the first class of AmeriCorps members have been able to work with more than 4,000 individuals who have been directly impacted by the disease of addiction.
Burlington’s AmeriCorps team alone served over 1,300 people, helping to direct those individuals into treatment and recovery. As a result of their success, Burlington’s program will expand into a regional effort with the help of a Cummings Foundation grant.
“We’re so proud of what this program accomplished in its inaugural year,” Chief Kent said. “The work that our P.A.A.R.I team did will have a meaningful, lifesaving impact on thousands of people in our community, and I’m grateful for everyone in our community who contributed to making their work so successful.”
AmeriCorps is a civil society program that engages adults in public service work with a goal of helping others and meeting critical needs in the community. Members commit to full-time or part-time positions offered by a network of nonprofit community organizations and public agencies to fulfill assignments in the fields of education, public safety, healthcare, and environmental protection. There are more than 75,000 Americans in service each year.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to help law enforcement agencies establish pre-arrest programs that create immediate and stigma-free entry points to treatment and recovery programs. P.A.A.R.I. works across sectors to provide training, coaching, and support; program models, policies and procedures, and templates; seed grants; connections to over 300 vetted treatment centers; a network of like-minded law enforcement agencies; a unified voice with media and legislators; and capacity building through AmeriCorps. P.A.A.R.I. is free to join and open to any law enforcement agency that believes in treatment over arrest and views addiction as a disease not a crime. Since June 2015, P.A.A.R.I. has launched more than 320 law enforcement programs in 31 states, distributed 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone, and helped over 12,000 people into treatment.