BOSTON, MA April 24, 2023 – The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is excited to announce the upcoming guests for the Partner Spotlight Series, a program launched in 2023 that highlights a deserving partner once per month who is running an excellent PAARI model program. The series takes place on the last Tuesday of every month.
The next Partner Spotlight Series will be held on April 25th to highlight Dan Cortez, Community Engagement Specialist for the Chelsea Police Department in Chelsea, Massachusetts. As part of his role, Dan manages the Chelsea HUB Situation Table, a multi-disciplinary approach that aims to reduce risk by connecting individuals and families to services.
“I am grateful to PAARI for providing me with the opportunity to share my work with other partners,” says Cortez. “I am eager to share my knowledge and answer any questions about the HUB model that attendees might have.”
On May 30th, PAARI will welcome Corporal Erica Valvano of Morris County Sheriff’s Office Hope One, a mobile outreach vehicle for addiction, recovery and mental health services. She launched Hope One in 2017 and in October 2018, received a grant to expand the project with PAARI.
“Helping those in my community through diversion programming is my passion. I am grateful to PAARI for their partnership of over 4 years, that has helped me to expand these services,” says Corporal Valvano. “I am excited to share the life changing work that we do in Morris County, with other PAARI partners this May.”
On June 27th, PAARI will highlight Lieutenant Sarko Gergerian. Lt. Gergerian is a founding member of the Community and Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery Program (C.L.E.A.R.). C.L.E.A.R. is a network of community partners, at the Winthrop Police Department and the Winthrop Health Department, that ensures individuals seeking support for substance use disorders or mental health are connected to community-based service providers.
“I am very proud of C.L.E.A.R. and the work that we have done to help the people of Winthrop gain access to the treatment they deserve,” says Lt. Gergarian. “I am excited to present about our program and answer any questions from hesitant law enforcement agencies, about how to create an effective program.”
“We are very excited to announce the next three guests of our Partner Spotlight Series,” says Brittney Garrett, Director of Public Safety Training and Outreach at PAARI. “We hope that our partners and other individuals who want to learn more will join us monthly to engage with and learn from our knowledgeable presenters. We can all learn from one another.”
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 CHELSEA HUB: The Hub works with families and individuals that are facing difficult challenges and may need services from more than one community agency. Our goal is to work together to ensure families and individuals are safe, healthy and have the opportunity to thrive. The Hub is a police-led initiative made up of designated staff from the community and government ages that meet weekly to address specific situations regarding clients facing elevated levels of risk, and develop immediate, coordinated, and integrated responses through the mobilization of resources. There are now 25 participating agencies who come together voluntarily each Thursday morning, and we’ve covered over 450 situations. Learn more at https://chelseapolice.com/community_services/hub.php
ABOUT MORRIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE HOPE ONE: Our mobile recovery access vehicle offers critical support for persons struggling with addiction, with the goals of preventing drug overdoses and deaths, as well as mental health services.
HOPE ONE travels four times a week to locations throughout Morris County, bringing services to persons in need. A Sheriff’s officer, licensed mental health professional, and a certified peer recovery specialist – who understand the needs of those suffering with addiction — staff the vehicle. They help people access services and Narcan training. Learn more at https://www.morriscountynj.gov/Departments/Sheriff/Community-Programs/Hope-One
ABOUT WINTHROP C.L.E.A.R.: The Winthrop CLEAR (Community & Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery) Program works to ensure that individuals seeking support, a path to recovery, and access to services for mental health and substance use disorders are connected to community-based service providers.
The CLEAR Program consists of a network of Recovery Coaches, a Clinical Social Worker, the Winthrop Police Department, the Winthrop Public Health Department and community partners to help individuals through the early recovery process and build a successful network of support in the neighborhood where they live. Learn more at https://winthropclear.com/