P.A.A.R.I. Announces the National Expansion of Recovery Corps Program
17 national service members to be based in police departments in 9 states to address opioid epidemic
BOSTON — John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chairman of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), and Executive Director Allie Hunter are pleased to announce the national expansion of P.A.A.R.I.’s first-of-its-kind project in partnership with law enforcement agencies and AmeriCorps to expand non-arrest access to treatment and recovery.
P.A.A.R.I. has received a $412,749 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to launch a national expansion of its pioneering pilot program to embed AmeriCorps members in police departments to address the opioid epidemic. This grant will fund 17 full-time members to serve within police departments in 9 states to help build, strengthen and sustain police-led programs to reduce and prevent overdose deaths and help more people with opioid use disorder get into treatment and recovery. The program is set to launch next month.
“P.A.A.R.I.’s mission is to provide resources to help law enforcement agencies combat the opioid epidemic, and this revolutionary program will add significant capacity to our partners and utilize service as a solution to address critical community needs,” said Hunter. “We have seen tremendous results locally and are thrilled to announce the national expansion of our Recovery Corps program.”
In the inaugural year of this new grant from CNCS and AmeriCorps VISTA, P.A.A.R.I has selected the following law enforcement sites to host Recovery Corps members.
- Douglas Police Department and Cochise County Agencies (Arizona)
- Longmont Department of Public Safety (Colorado)
- Lake County Opioid Initiative / Mundelein Police Department (Illinois)
- Scarborough Police Department (Maine)
- Holyoke Police Department (Massachusetts)
- New Bedford Police Department (Massachusetts)
- Essex County Sheriff’s Department (Massachusetts)
- Hope Not Handcuffs / Saginaw City Police Department (Michigan)
- Hope Not Handcuffs / Taylor Police Department (Michigan)
- Hope Not Handcuffs / Fraser Police Department (Michigan)
- Rhode Island State Police HOPE Initiative (Rhode Island)
- Everett Police Department (Washington)
- Greenfield Police Department (Wisconsin)
In addition to the 14 positions that will be based in the awarded law enforcement host sites, two VISTAs will be based in P.A.A.R.I’s office in Plymouth, Massachusetts to focus on resource development and expanding its scale/reach through the recruitment and training of new law enforcement partners. An additional VISTA Leader will be based in P.A.A.R.I’s office in Boston to focus on supporting the P.A.A.R.I. National Recovery Corps members.
P.A.A.R.I is now accepting applications for all 17 full-time VISTA service opportunities, with anticipated start dates June through September 2019. Individuals with lived experience with addiction, including those who are personally in recovery, are encouraged to apply. Details, including a link to apply for each position, can be found at paariusa.org/recoverycorps.
Funded through the Massachusetts Service Alliance and AmeriCorps State and National Program, P.A.A.R.I. is currently operating an award-winning program in Massachusetts that embeds AmeriCorps members directly in police departments as recovery coaches and program coordinators. Since the program launched in October 2017, the team of 25 AmeriCorps members has provided vital information and support to 6,771 unique individuals and provided a referral to treatment to an additional 790 unique individuals.
Through the expansion grant with AmeriCorps VISTA, P.A.A.R.I.’s National Recovery Corps will grow to a total of 42 national service members.
“The opioid epidemic has left an indelible scar in communities across America. Addressing this crisis will take an all-hands-on-deck effort and everyone has a role to play,” said Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program. “I’m proud that through this new partnership with P.A.A.R.I., AmeriCorps VISTA members can be a part of the solution.”
“We are very proud and pleased to partner with P.A.A.R.I. on their groundbreaking AmeriCorps program,” said Emily Haber, Massachusetts Service Alliance CEO. “We know this program saves lives every day in the Commonwealth and with the addition of 17 AmeriCorps VISTA members P.A.A.R.I. will be able to bring this critical program to police departments across the country.”
From the awarded law enforcement host sites:
“The Douglas Police Department and its partner agencies in the Cochise Addiction Recovery Partnership (CARP) are delighted to be chosen as a host site for the P.A.A.R.I. National Recovery Corps program. The key to a successful, non-arrest pathway to treatment and recovery is partnerships and collaboration. This approach has already proved to be a winning formula in rural Cochise County, and our relationship with P.A.A.R.I. AmeriCorps will ensure this program continues to grow and help those who need assistance in leading a healthier and productive lifestyle.” Amanda Baillie, Public Information Officer, Douglas Police Department and Cochise Addiction Recovery Partnership, Arizona
“The Longmont Department of Public Safety is thrilled to continue its partnership with P.A.A.R.I. through the National Recovery Corps. The Angel Initiative is a P.A.A.R.I. program that was launched at the beginning of 2017 that welcomes any member of our community that is struggling with substance use disorder to walk into the public safety building and ask for help. To date, 144 people have been connected to treatment through the Angel Initiative. The partnership with the National Recovery Corp will allow us to expand the capacity of the program and have a larger positive impact on our community.” Dan Eamon, Assistant Public Safety Chief, Longmont Department of Public Safety, Colorado
“Everett has worked with and developed a strong partnership with the P.A.A.R.I. organization over the past several years to provide much-needed drug treatment services to some of our most vulnerable community members, at no cost to taxpayers. I am very excited about the opportunity to grow our partnership in a way that better serves our community and look forward to expanding our use of volunteers to augment the great work our police officers and social workers perform on a daily basis.” Dan Templeman, Chief of Police, Everett Police Department, Washington State
“The Town of Scarborough and the Scarborough Police Department are very honored to have the opportunity to work with an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Operation HOPE. We have been very successful in using the non-arrest approach of getting individuals who are suffering with substance use disorder in to treatment. Unfortunately, with very limited resources, we have struggled to do any significant follow up which we feel is essential to measure the effectiveness of the program. Having an AmeriCorps VISTA member on site to assist with both placement and follow up will be a huge asset to our program. We applaud P.A.A.R.I. for their continued commitment to this devastating public health crisis.” Robert Moulton, Chief of Police, Scarborough Police Department, Maine
“It has been such an honor to work with the P.A.A.R.I. initiative for the past three years. Their team was instrumental in helping us plan, implement and grow our Hope Not Handcuffs program in Michigan. We look forward to this next endeavor and are excited to receive a grant to pilot the national Recovery Corps program. Thank you P.A.A.R.I. for all that you to do to ensure the safety of our community and save lives.” Linda Davis, Executive Director, Families Against Narcotics, Hope Not Handcuffs, Michigan
“We’re proud that the HOPE Initiative was selected as a host site for the P.A.A.R.I. National Recovery Corps. Having a member of the P.A.A.R.I. National Recovery Corps on staff will allow the HOPE Initiative to reach more Rhode Islanders in need of treatment and recovery services. We are grateful for this capacity-building resource and appreciate the opportunity to be part of this important pilot program.” Colonel James Manni, Rhode Island State Police