BOSTON — P.A.A.R.I Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade, Town of Wallkill Police Chief Robert Hertman, Tri-County Community Partnership President Annette Kahrs and Hope Not Handcuffs Vice President Katie Donovan are pleased to announce a new partnership among the four organizations that will directly address the opioid crisis and provide recovery resources for those in need.
“We are very much looking forward to working with the Wallkill Police Department to create pathways to recovery for those struggling with substance use disorder in the Hudson Valley region,” Hunter McDade said. “We have seen the life-saving impact of this non-arrest model and are excited to see its continued expansion across the country.”
Hope Not Handcuffs is an initiative of Michigan-based Families Against Narcotics, has partnered with Tri-County Community Partnership to create the organization’s first expansion outside of Michigan. This partnership with P.A.A.R.I and Hope Not Handcuffs is a proactive next step for the Town of Wallkill Police Department and its Wallkill Cares initiative, creating a single point of access to treatment for people struggling with substance use disorders.
Through this new partnership, the Town of Wallkill Police Department will, starting today, open its doors to those suffering from addiction — and their families — by referring them to treatment and recovery options in lieu of arrest and prosecution.
Those who ask for help will be welcomed into the police station with compassion and respect, and put directly in touch with officers and volunteer “Angels” who will be tasked with finding resources to get the person into treatment while offering kindness and compassion and comfort items like water, snacks and blankets.
“This partnership will give the members of our community who are battling addiction the vital resources they need to overcome substance use disorders,” Chief Hertman said.
To help accomplish their goal of directing those actively seeking help to the most appropriate resources, Tri-County Community Partnership has enlisted the help of Angel volunteers who will coordinate directly with those battling substance use disorders to support their recovery efforts.
“It’s so inspiring to see the success that similar programs have had in stemming the tide of addiction,” Kahrs said. “I look forward to implementing the Hope Not Handcuffs and P.A.A.R.I model in our community, and am grateful for the openness of Chief Hertman and his officers to renewing their approach to this epidemic. We are hoping that once the program takes hold in Wallkill, it will lay the groundwork to expand program to other law enforcement agencies throughout Orange County.”
In preparation for its renewed opioid addiction effort, Town of Wallkill Police officers have undergone training alongside Angel volunteers.
“This renewed approach would not have been possible without the energy and deep commitment of so many, including the Tri-County Community Partnership and our police officers,” Ward 3 Councilman Neil Meyer said. “I have no doubt that the P.A.A.R.I. and Hope Not Handcuffs model will serve as a lifeline for those struggling with addiction, and I’m grateful for the work of everyone who made this a reality.”
“I’m enormously proud to see Hope Not Handcuffs expand beyond its Michigan roots to forge this partnership,” Donovan said. “I have no doubt that this effort will have an enormous impact on the individuals and families struggling with substance use in the Town of Wallkill and the surrounding area.”
Anyone interested in becoming a Hope Not Handcuffs Angel, please visit: www.tricountycommunitypartnership.org