Boston, MA April, 4th 2023 – The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is excited to announce the appointment of Annette Kahrs to the Executive Board effective immediately. As a member of the board, Kahrs will aid in the decision-making processes that affect PAARI programming on a daily basis.
“I am a believer in non-arrest pathways to treatment through law enforcement. I’ve seen it work! Police have a front-row seat to the opioid epidemic, and they can be instrumental in being part of the solution,“ says Kahrs. “PAARI has been at the forefront of this paradigm shift, and I have always admired the organization. I’m honored to be invited and excited to make a contribution.”
Prior to joining PAARI, Kahrs spent years working in community nonprofits. She is the founder and Executive Director of Tri-County Community Partnership, Inc., a non-profit that operates several programs including a youth drug prevention program, a family support program, and a pre-arrest diversion program. Additionally, Kahrs is a New York State Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (CARC) and she initiated Hope Not Handcuffs- New York (HNH-NY), a nationally recognized Deflection and Pre-arrest Diversion program. The non-profit operates in partnership with over 65 law enforcement agencies in six counties, as well as two District Attorneys’ offices to assist individuals who are seeking help for substance abuse. Through her years of work in the field, she has seen the effectiveness of police-led treatment programs first-hand.
When asked what she hopes to achieve as an executive board member, Kahrs says, “I hope to aid in the expansion of PAARI. I would love to see systemic community trust in police from those seeking help for substance abuse. I believe we need state-mandated law enforcement education on addiction and stigma, and better solutions to address the destruction of addiction in communities and families. The cycle of arrest and release will not solve the issue.”
“We are honored to have Annette join our board. As a founder of a non-profit that is directly aligned with PAARI’s mission, she is an expert in this field,” says Zoe Grover-Scicchitano, Executive Director of PAARI. “Her unique perspective from her years of experience and seeing firsthand how this epidemic has impacted the state of New York, will be invaluable to us as we expand our organization.”
“I speak for all of the PAARI Board of Directors when I say that we are thrilled to have Annette join the team,” says John Rosenthal, PAARI Co-Founder, and Executive Board Member at PAARI. ”Having unique perspectives as part of our Board participation helps us better shape our organization and make our programming as effective as possible.”
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.