BOSTON, MA January 26, 2023 – The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is excited to announce the formation of the Partner Spotlight Series. This program will highlight a deserving partner once per month who is running an excellent PAARI model program. Those spotlighted will partake in a 1-hour long webinar that explores how their program was started, how it has evolved, lessons learned along the way and the goals they have for the future. The series will take place on the last Tuesday of every month.
The goal of creating the series is to give a national platform for the great work that leaders in the field of diversion and deflection are doing. By sharing this series with their partners nationwide, PAARI hopes it will give law enforcement agencies new ideas on how to either start their own programs or incorporate elements of different programs into their existing ones.
The Partner Spotlight Series will kick off on January 31st to highlight Judge Linda Davis and her team from Family Against Narcotics and their development of Hope Not Handcuffs – Michigan. Hope Not Handcuffs, launched by Families Against Narcotics (FAN) in 2017, is a collaborative effort between FAN, law enforcement, and community organizations to find suitable treatment options for individuals seeking help with substance use disorder.
“My team and I are grateful to PAARI for giving us this platform to share our services and the change we have made in the state of Michigan,” says Judge Davis, Family Against Narcotics/Hope Not Handcuffs – Michigan. “This work is not easy or being done alone. PAARI has been a wonderful partner in creating deflection programs for individuals seeking help to reduce their dependence on drugs.”
On February 28th, PAARI will welcome Vicky Butler from Plymouth County Outreach (PCO) and Detective Lt. Michael Skowyra from Kingston PD to share details about their programs. PCO is a multi-faceted collaboration of 28 police departments, including Kingston PD, working together with Recovery Coaches, community organizations, and coalitions to make treatment, resources, and harm reduction tools more accessible to those living with substance use disorder.
“Our goal at PCO is to provide compassionate and judgment-free support while reducing overdose fatalities,” says Butler, Executive Director at PCO. “We are hopeful that the good work we’re doing alongside our partners here in Plymouth County will inspire other PAARI partners to expand and develop their programs.”
On March 28th, PAARI will highlight Chief Jeff Tate and his deflection and diversion program at the Shakopee Police Department in Minnesota. The Recovery Assistance Program at Shakopee PD offers scholarships (up to $3,000) toward the cost of drug or alcohol treatment for those who have financial hardships in the Shakopee area. Since its inception, Shakopee PD has awarded over 45 people with scholarships for receiving treatment.
“We are very proud of our Recovery Assistance Program and the successes that have come along with it,” says Chief Tate, Shakopee PD. “I was elated when PAARI reached out to me about presenting in this series. I want to show tentative law enforcement agencies that creating an effective program is possible.”
“We created the Partner Spotlight Series to highlight successful and innovative deflection and diversion programs to our current and future PAARI partners,” says Brittney Garrett, Director of Outreach at PAARI. “We hope that law enforcement agencies that are interested in creating a program, but are hesitant, join us monthly and engage with our partners to learn more about how the creation of a successful program can become a reality.”
To sign up for any of the Partner Spotlight Series presentations, click HERE.
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: Hope Not Handcuffs is an initiative started by Families Against Narcotics (FAN), aimed at bringing law enforcement and community organizations together in an effort to find viable treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce dependency with heroin, prescription drugs, and alcohol. It is a solution. Hope Not Handcuffs is available at 120+ police agencies and community partners in Michigan and at 60+ New York locations. Learn more at familiesagainstnarcotics.org/hopenothandcuffs.
ABOUT PCO: Plymouth County Outreach is a multi-faceted collaboration of the 27 municipal police departments in Plymouth County, as well as Bridgewater State University Police Department, working together with Recovery Coaches and community organizations and coalitions to make treatment, resources, and harm reduction tools more accessible to those living with substance use disorder and their loved ones. Learn more at plymouthcountyoutreach.org.
ABOUT RECOVERY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AT SHAKOPEE PD: We are pleased to offer scholarships (up to $3,000) toward the cost of drug or alcohol treatment. To be eligible for this scholarship, participants must live in Shakopee, complete at least 30 days of treatment (residential or outpatient) at Five Stars Recovery Center, Sage Prairie, Haven Chemical Health Systems or Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, be in good standing with the treatment center, and provide monthly updates to the police department on treatment. This program is funded by drug and alcohol forfeiture cases. No tax dollars are used. Learn more at shakopeemn.gov/public-safety/recovery-assistance.