BOSTON, MA July 31, 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 January 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 each month.
The seventh Partner Spotlight Series was held on July 25th to highlight Connie Priddy, MA, RN, MCCN who serves as the Director of Quality Compliance at Cabell County EMS, and Program Coordinator for the Huntington, WV QRT (Quick Response Team). Connie assisted in the development and implementation of the QRT model in Huntington where she collaborated with EMS, Law Enforcement, Treatment Providers, and Faith-Based Leaders to create the model that is in place today.
“I am grateful to PAARI for providing me with the platform to discuss Huntington QRT and the work we are doing in West Virginia,” says Connie Priddy, “The Partner Spotlight Series is a fantastic platform to reach other agencies interested in doing similar work.”
On August 29th, PAARI will welcome Lt. Steve Thomas and Jennifer Corbin to speak about Anne Arundel County’s Safe Station Program. Lt. Steve Thomas, CCISM of Anne Arundel MD Police Department, became the CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) and Peer Support Coordinator in 2016, and in 2020, Anne Arundel County CIT Unit was named CIT International’s CIT Unit of the Year. Jennifer Corbin, MSW, LMSW is the Director for the Anne Arundel County Crisis Response System which is under the direction of the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency where she provides direct oversight into the day-to-day operations of the crisis system. In 2019, Lt. Steve Thomas and Jennifer Corbin were awarded a PAARI leadership award for developing and implementing Anne Arundel County’s Safe Station Program.
“PAARI’s Partner Spotlight Series is an incredible opportunity for PAARI partners to share the story of how their program came to be and where they are now. Lt. Thomas and I are grateful to have been invited to present,” says Jennifer Corbin. “We are eager to share the life-saving work that we have been involved with in Anne Arundel for the past few years and hope to shed light for any police departments that are hesitant to start their own PAARI program.”
On September 26th, PAARI will highlight Cmdr. Tom Fallon and Meagan Guthrie to speak about Hamilton County, OH QRT. Tom Fallon, Captain Amberley Village Police Department, is the Commander and a founding member of the Hamilton County Heroin Task Force. In his role with the Task Force, he initiated the Quick Response Team (QRT) in Norwood, Ohio in 2016, and is currently leading a multi-jurisdictional, county-wide QRT in Hamilton County. Meagan Guthrie, MA/CDCA is the Director of the Hamilton County Office of Addiction Response. She is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day work of the Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition, supports OneOhio Settlement Fund administration for regional and local strategies, and facilitates Hamilton County Administration’s coordinated response to addiction.
“Meagan and I are grateful to PAARI for providing us with this platform to share the work we are doing in Hamilton County and to highlight the successes of our program,” said Cmdr. Tom Fallon. “As proud partners of PAARI, we will continue to jump at every opportunity to share our knowledge to help other departments to create meaningful and successful deflection programs.”
“We are thrilled to announce the next three guests of our Partner Spotlight Series,” says Zoe Grover, Executive Director of PAARI. “We have been overjoyed by the turnout of each webinar in this series so far. We hope that our PAARI partners continue to join us every month to learn about successful deflection programs and how they can continue to be further involved in this movement.”
Click HERE to sign up for any Partner Spotlight Series presentations.
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 HUNTINGTON QRT: Huntington, West Virginia started its Quick Response Team (QRT) in 2017 in response to the unprecedented number of overdoses in their community. This crisis precipitated Cabell County EMS to partner with local police and behavioral health agencies to develop a QRT program. Within 48 hours of an overdose event, members of the QRT, including EMS personnel, law enforcement, treatment providers, and faith leaders, provide outreach to individuals who have experienced an overdose. Learn more at facebook.com/QRTHuntington.
ABOUT ANNE ARUNDEL SAFE STATION: Safe Stations is an innovative program that shifts barriers to treatment for those members of our community who are eager to recover from drug addiction. Persons seeking treatment for addiction can visit any police or fire station across the county, day or night, to dispose of any paraphernalia and find assistance gaining access to care.
The Safe Stations program creates a unique opportunity to address the underlying behavior, the addiction, that drives people to commit crimes in support of their habit. When the small window of opportunity presents itself – when someone battling addiction reaches out for help – we must act fast to get them into treatment. Learn more at aacounty.org/departments/sao/rehab-programs/safe-stations/.
ABOUT HAMILTON COUNTY QRT: The Quick Response Team (QRT) is a co-responder deflection program that provides community-based substance use, mental health, homelessness, and other needs-based services, with the immediate goal of connecting Hamilton County residents with the most appropriate care specific to their needs. QRT approaches all encounters with the simple message: “How can we help you?” Learn more at hamiltoncountyohio.gov/government/open_hamilton_county/projects/addiction_response_coalition/hc_qrt.