Monday, Jan. 22, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Highland, Ind. Police Department Partners With P.A.A.R.I. to Renew its Approach to Addiction
HIGHLAND, Ind. — Highland Police Chief Peter Hojnicki and Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) co-chairs John Rosenthal and Frederick Ryan and Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade are pleased to announce that the Highland Police Department has partnered with P.A.A.R.I. to better serve individuals and families impacted by the opioid epidemic.
The Highland Police Department and P.A.A.R.I. formally began their partnership last July and, in the months since, Detective Brian Stanley has worked to forge strong partnerships with area recovery groups that have proved instrumental in the program’s early success.
Detective Stanley and his department first learned of the initiative last year after reading about the neighboring Griffith Police Department’s membership in a Northwest Indiana Times story.
Upon reading about it, he knew that a renewed approach was something that Highland Police needed to pursue, as it could make a lifesaving difference for the Highland community.
“We understand that this is an epidemic that is plaguing our community, and that we need to become further engaged and do more to meet the challenge,” Detective Stanley said. “The goal is to proactively seek out those individuals and families that could benefit from a changed approach to let them know that we are here to help them and — just as importantly — we want to help them.”
Through its partnership with P.A.A.R.I., the Highland Police Department will open its doors to those suffering from addiction, and their families, by referring them to treatment and recovery options in lieu of arrest and prosecution.
“As law enforcement officers, we realize that we cannot arrest our way out of this opioid epidemic,” Highland Police Commander John Banasiak said. “We’re committed to attacking this problem in another way, and we’re grateful for P.A.A.R.I. and the local organizations we’ve partnered with that have made that possible.”
Since partnering with P.A.A.R.I., Highland Police have built connections with several area recovery organizations to ease access to recovery options:
- Edgewater Health of Gary
- Recovery Works of Merrillville
- Heartland Recovery of Lowell
- Big Book Legacy Group of Griffith
“Recovery is a lifelong journey that begins by simply asking for help, and I am so glad that the Highland Police Department has made itself available as a resource for those ready to ask for help,” P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade said. “They have done tremendous work to build a strong recovery network in a very short period of time, and their efforts will no doubt help save lives in their community.”
Highland Police responded to 36 overdoses in 2017 and administered the overdose reversal drug naloxone in 13 of those cases.
Since launching its recovery initiative, the Highland Police Department has placed a strong emphasis on proactive outreach to individuals they know could benefit from recovery resources and has so far directed two people into treatment.
The Police Assisted Addiction & 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 375 law enforcement programs in 32 states, distributed 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone, and helped over 12,000 people into treatment.