On April 18, 2023, The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) hosted a virtual statewide convening among New Jersey law enforcement agencies and treatment providers. This convening was designed to allow New Jersey PAARI partners, and those interested in becoming partners, to connect with like-minded agencies in implementing non-arrest programming for those with substance use disorder.
The convening began with an introduction by local partner, Melissa O’Mara of Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. Introductions were followed by Brittney Garrett, Director of Public Safety Training and Outreach at PAARI, providing a brief overview of PAARI and the services they offer. She then passed it on to Travis Rapoza, PAARI Program Manager, to speak about Opioid Settlement Funds and the current threat of Xylazine. The presentation came to a close as Vanessa Kennedy, PAARI Program and Operations Manager, spoke about PAARI’s AmeriCorps program.
This presentation was followed by a 30 minute Q&A session to allow attendees to ask questions to PAARI staff and to get the perspective of other professionals on the call. Attendees decided that the call was so beneficial, that they would like to meet quarterly.
The call came to a close as a New Jersey native, currently in recovery, spoke to how the professionals at the meeting helped him to get where he is today. He thanked PAARI and other like minded organizations for putting together spaces like this to speak on the important topic of substance use disorder, treatment and police involvement.
The convening was attended by 38 professionals from the below organizations.
- Achieve Greatness Inc.
- Addiction Recovery Management & Marketing LLC
- Beverly PD
- Bordentown Township PD
- Burlington – OHH and STT
- Burlington Prosecutor’s Office
- Center for Prevention and Counseling
- Delran Township PD
- Health Imperatives
- Maple Shade PD
- Morris County Sheriff’s Office
- Mount Laurel PD
- New Jersey Prevention Network
- New Jersey Treatment Incentive Program
- Newton PD
- Office of the New Jersey Attorney General
- Operation Helping Hand
- Prevention Links
- Solstice Counseling and Wellness Center
- The Addictions Academy
- Verona PD
- West Orange PD