Michael R. Kent
Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Burlington Police Department Receives AmeriCorps Grant from P.A.A.R.I. to Combat Opioid Addiction
Full-Time Program Coordinator and Part-Time Recovery Coach to Enhance Program
BURLINGTON — Chief Michael R. Kent is pleased to announce that the Burlington Police Department has joined the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) and received an AmeriCorps grant from P.A.A.R.I. to bring on a full-time program coordinator and a part-time recovery coach to enhance the department’s substance abuse prevention and recovery efforts.
This groundbreaking new statewide program, which launched earlier this month achieves synergy by combining the powers of community service, the recovery community, and police-based referral programs. Under the P.A.A.R.I./AmeriCorps program, 25 AmeriCorps members are being placed in host police department sites throughout Massachusetts.
P.A.A.R.I./AmeriCorps members will build the capacity of law enforcement programs and assist those suffering from substance use disorders by connecting them to treatment and recovery services that divert them from the criminal justice system. Burlington was one of several police departments selected to receive an AmeriCorps grant from P.A.A.R.I. to bring on AmeriCorps members to prevent overdose deaths and provide vital resources to community members with substance use disorders.
“The opioid crisis has touched virtually every city and town within the Commonwealth,” Chief Kent said. “We are very committed to our new partnership forged through the P.A.A.R.I./AmeriCorps Program and we are confident that together, we can make a very positive impact on people and families within our community,” said Chief Kent.
P.A.A.R.I. received a three-year grant from the Massachusetts Service Alliance and the Corporation for National and Community Service to launch this first-of-its-kind program, which is placing 25 AmeriCorps members at host police departments across Massachusetts and assisting with local police-led addiction and recovery programs in light of the growing opioid epidemic.
“P.A.A.R.I.’s mission is to provide resources to help law enforcement agencies combat the opioid epidemic and this innovative program will add significant capacity to our law enforcement partners and utilize service as a solution to address critical community needs,” said P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade. “We are thrilled that Burlington Police Department has signed on as a partner for the inaugural year of the program.”
The Burlington Police Department Introduces Margie Taylor as its new full-time Program Coordinator and Jackie Tayabji as its new part-time Recovery Coach
Chief Michael R. Kent is pleased to welcome Margie Taylor and Jackie Tayabji as Burlington Police Department’s new full-time program coordinator and new part-time recovery coach, respectively. They will be working at the Burlington Police Department through the P.A.A.R.I./AmeriCorps Program. Together with the Burlington Police Department, Margie and Jackie will serve the community by providing outreach, support, and treatment referrals for individuals with substance use disorders and their families. Margie and Jackie both recently completed training through the Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services. They will use their training and life experience to connect with and support those who are active drug users, those who have recently overdosed, those seeking treatment, and those in early recovery. Margie and Jackie are both truly passionate about helping others and they are eager to help launch this new project.
AmeriCorps is a civil society program that engages adults in public service work with a goal of helping others and meeting critical needs in the community. Members commit to full-time or part-time positions offered by a network of nonprofit community organizations and public agencies to fulfill assignments in the fields of education, public safety, healthcare, and environmental protection. There are more than 75,000 Americans in service each year.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to help law enforcement agencies establish pre-arrest programs that create immediate and stigma-free entry points to treatment and recovery programs. P.A.A.R.I. works across sectors to provide: training, coaching, and support; program models, policies and procedures, and templates; seed grants; connections to over 300 vetted treatment centers; a network of like-minded law enforcement agencies; a unified voice with media and legislators; and capacity-building through AmeriCorps. P.A.A.R.I. is free to join and open to any law enforcement agency that believes in treatment over arrest and views addiction as a disease not a crime. Since June 2015, P.A.A.R.I. has launched more than 320 law enforcement programs in 31 states, distributed 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone, and helped over 12,000 people into treatment.