Frederick Ryan, Chief of Police
112 Mystic St.
Arlington, MA 02474
For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Contact: Captain Richard Flynn, PIO
Contact: John Guilfoil
Arlington Police Department Implements New Addiction Protocols
Public Health Clinician and Arlington Police Officers to Reach Out to the Customers of Arrested Drug Dealers
First New Law Enforcement Partner for P.A.A.R.I. Non-Profit Organization
ARLINGTON — Police Chief Frederick Ryan announces that the Arlington Police Department is implementing a new approach when it comes to dealing with drug addiction in the community. The program is called The Arlington Outreach Initiative.
Beginning this week, the Arlington Police Department will team up with a Public Health Clinician to do direct, door-to-door outreach to drug addicts, previous overdose patients, and their families.
The Arlington Police Department is committed to aggressively enforcing the drug laws, especially when it comes to investigating and arresting drug dealers and drug traffickers. However, once a drug dealer is arrested, police are often left with their list of customers.
These lists are literally collections of people, often Arlington residents, who are living in the grip of addiction.
A state public health clinician will be embedded with the Arlington Police Department, and together, they will reach out to these people and their families. The goal of the Initiative is to educate families, help provide and teach the administration of potentially lifesaving Nasal Narcan, and to make addicts and their families, friends, and caregivers aware of treatment options and resources available to them.
Arlington Police are also partnering with Wicked Sober and the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) to help addicts by offering information and advice at no cost and assisting people in locating treatment centers for recovery, using both organizations’ large networks of qualified treatment centers across the country.
“In the past, we would not do anything with the information we learned about the customers of drug dealers, and the addicts would simply find a new dealer for their next fix,” Chief Ryan said. “The time for inaction is over.”
While not identical, The Arlington Outreach Initiative is inspired by the Gloucester Police Department ANGEL Initiative, created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello. Gloucester’s Initiative allows people who suffer from addiction to turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest and then fast-tracks the participant into a treatment center.
“Chief Campanello has started a very important conversation among municipal police departments and police chiefs across the country, and the Arlington Police Department is following suit by implementing our own program based on Arlington’s unique needs as a community,” Chief Ryan said.
Both programs seek to make Nasal Narcan more widely and inexpensively available to addicts and their families. Both programs advocate for long-term recovery centers. Most importantly, both programs seek to end the stigma of addiction, recognize it as a disease, and put police officers in a position to directly help people suffering from it.
The Arlington Outreach Initiative will be funded at the onset by a $5,000 grant from P.A.A.R.I. and additional grant funding is expected to be announced shortly.
Additionally, the Arlington Police Department will commit a portion of its criminal asset forfeiture funding to help subsidize the purchase of Narcan for uninsured and under-insured residents who need it.
“I am extremely proud to stand with Chief Ryan at the launch of the Arlington Outreach Initiative,” said Chief Campanello, who is also a Co-Founder of P.A.A.R.I. “Every community has its own unique set of challenges and opportunities, and I look forward to seeing many similar programs launch in other cities and towns.”