Chief Richard Nolan
20 LaFayette Park,
Oxford, NY 13830
Leonard Campanello, Co-Founder
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Monday, Feb. 8, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Oxford, N.Y. Police Department Joins P.A.A.R.I. to Launch Addiction Recovery Initiative
“Road to Recovery” Program Modeled After Gloucester ANGEL Initiative
OXFORD — Chief Richard Nolan is pleased to announce that the Oxford Police Department has partnered with The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) and Truth Pharm to launch their addiction outreach and recovery program, Road to Recovery.
The Oxford Police Department’s program will officially begin on Feb. 15. The department has already hosted a community Narcan training at Oxford High School and will be training all police officers, members of the Oxford Fire Department and ambulance squad on the use of Narcan.
“While we are a small local law enforcement agency, we recognize that our community needs help,” Chief Nolan said. “By partnering with P.A.A.R.I., we now have access to a variety of resources which will help further our own initiatives in this fight against substance abuse. We look forward working with P.A.A.R.I. and hope for a long and successful partnership.”
Truth Pharm is a national advocacy non-profit organization working with the Oxford Police Department to help develop proactive responses to the opioid and heroin epidemic.
“We are so thrilled to see our first Chenango County police department start an addiction recovery program,” said Alexis Pleus, founder of Truth Pharm. “We are working to put upstate New York on the map for taking a proactive and progressive approach in combating this epidemic, including increasing P.A.A.R.I. participation.”
Through the department’s initiative, Oxford Police will implement new addiction recovery initiatives and work with P.A.A.R.I. to place residents in need into treatment. Truth Pharm will create the Angel volunteer network for the department.
Modeled after the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, the Road to Recovery program encourages residents who want to overcome their addiction to simply walk into the police station, turn over their drugs and equipment and ask for help. Those who do, will not be charged. Instead, they will immediately be placed into a drug treatment program, regardless of financial means or insurance coverage.
Outside of the Road to Recovery program, Oxford Police have established a number of other initiatives to combat opioid addiction:
- Establishing a medical drop box at Oxford police headquarters.
- Refurbishing a room adjacent to police offices where volunteers and participants can interact in an environment that is more comfortable.
- Equipping all officers with the opioid overdose reversal drug, Narcan.
- Host community sessions with partner organizations to promote opioid abuse awareness and provide community members with free Narcan training.
- Invite speakers to local school district to speak about opioid abuse.
- Promote the Good Samaritan Law to raise awareness.
- Offer specialized educational programs based on opioid abuse to promote an environment in which youth feel welcome seeking the police department for help.
- Provide parents and students with information about securing prescription medications and opioid abuse through a school newsletter.
- Establish a K-9 unit to target those selling drugs, rather than those suffering from addiction.
The Oxford Police Department is also working toward forming other partnerships including:
- Developing a Recovery Community Center
- Assisting participants in locating safe and affordable housing
- Helping participants find full-time employment with a wage that can support independence
Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal, founders of P.A.A.R.I., are pleased to welcome Oxford Police to P.A.A.R.I. and will work with the department to further their initiatives. Both recognize that the opioid crisis has not ignored communities whether they are major cities or small villages like Oxford, with a population of less than 4,000. They commend Chief Nolan and his staff for taking the initiative to help those who need it most and for working to change the way law enforcement handles addiction. Chief Campanello visited upstate New York last year at the request of Truth Pharm and a number of law enforcement agencies like Oxford Village, to help them start similar programs in their own communities.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) was started to support local police departments as they work with opioid addicts. Rather than arrest our way out of the problem of drug addiction, P.A.A.R.I. committed police departments:
- Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
- Help distribute life saving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
- Connect addicts with treatment programs and facilities
- Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic