HUDSON VALLEY, NY January 30, 2023 – Hope Not Handcuffs – New York (HNH-NY) is excited to announce the appointment of Chief Paul J. Rickard to the position of Director, starting February 1, 2023. HNH-NY is a deflection program aimed at bringing law enforcement and community organizations together to find viable treatment options for individuals to reduce dependency on drugs and alcohol. Their services are available within 60 police departments throughout the Hudson Valley area and they have served over 800 participants to date.
In this new role, Chief Rickard will be in charge of the direct oversight of HNH programming across the Hudson Valley. He will develop, update and provide protocols, direction, and guidance in implementing current and future program changes. His position will also include overseeing and managing the program budget, , and educational/training programming. Chief Rickard will refine currently in-place protocols and play the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed the new Director of Hope Not Handcuffs – New York,” says Chief Rickard. “I am excited to utilize my over 30 years of law enforcement experience to develop and refine our programming. I am eager to hit the ground running.”
Prior to joining HNH-NY, Chief Rickard served as Chief at the Town of Mount Hope Police Department for 12 years. Before becoming Chief of Police in Mount Hope, he served the City of Middletown Police Department for 21 years rising to Bureau Commander of Operations.
“My staff and I are excited to welcome Chief Rickard to our Hope Not Handcuffs program says Annette Kahrs, CEO of Tri County Community Partnership, Inc who previously served as Program Director at HNH-NY. “His expertise gained through his law enforcement background and his commitment to diversion programming made him a clear and quality fit for the position.” Kahrs will maintain involvement at HNH-NY in an operations-focused role beginning at the start of February.
Chief Rickard holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University and an Associate of Arts degree from Orange County Community College. He is a graduate of the 221st Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. In addition to his full-time responsibilities, Chief Rickard has served as President of The Police Chiefs Association of Orange County from 2021 to 2022 and has been a member of the Executive Board for the past six years. He is a long-time Orange County, NY resident and is married with two children.
“Annette Kahrs and Hope Not Handcuffs – New York have been incredible partners since they joined PAARI,” says Zoe Grover, Executive Director of PAARI. “We look forward to collaborating with Chief Rickard has he continues their work to develop non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery across the Hudson Valley.”
Written by: Isabella Nowak
About PAARI: The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery. Founded alongside the groundbreaking Gloucester, Mass., Police Department Angel Initiative in June 2015, PAARI has been a driving force behind this rapidly expanding community policing movement. We provide technical assistance, strategic guidance, connection to training resources, and other capacity-building resources to more than 650 police departments in 40 states.
PAARI works with more than 130 law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts alone. PAARI and our law enforcement partners are working towards a collective vision where non-arrest diversion programs become a standard policing practice across the country, thereby reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities. Our programs and partners have saved tens of thousands of lives, changed police culture, and reshaped the national conversation about the opioid epidemic since its founding in June 2015. Learn more at paariusa.org.
About Hope Not Handcuffs – Hudson Valley, New York: Hope Not Handcuffs- Hudson Valley, is a deflection program aimed at bringing law enforcement and community organizations together in an effort to find viable treatment options for individuals to reduce dependency with drugs, and alcohol. The program focuses on community-law enforcement partnerships to encourage persons who use drugs to seek treatment through self-referral, officer referral, or officer intervention pathways. The self-referral pathway uses trained community volunteers called “Angels” to find treatment options for those seeking assistance for addiction. All pathways utilize our peer-led Hopeline. Learn more at www.hopenothandcuffsny.com