P.A.A.R.I. Celebrates Three Years Working With Law Enforcement to Combat Opioid Crisis

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P.A.A.R.I.
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
Frederick Ryan, Co-Chairman
186 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

For Immediate Release

Friday, June 29, 2018

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

P.A.A.R.I. Celebrates Three Years Working With Law Enforcement to Combat Opioid Crisis

GLOUCESTER — Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade and the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) are pleased to announce that the organization celebrated its third anniversary earlier this week by honoring several individuals and groups who have helped contribute to its mission.

On Wednesday, June 27, representatives from some of the more than 400 P.A.A.R.I. law enforcement partners, along with government leaders and public health professionals, gathered at the Gloucester House restaurant to celebrate the work P.A.A.R.I. has done to change the national conversation about addiction.

P.A.A.R.I. was founded in 2015 in concert with the groundbreaking Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, which reinvented the way law enforcement agencies confront addiction in their own communities by treating it as a treatable disease rather than a crime.

Working with a constantly expanding network of law enforcement agencies, P.A.A.R.I. is continuing to make progress toward a collective vision where pre-arrest, treatment-first programs become a standard policing practice across the country. This ongoing effort is reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, reducing stigma and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities.

“Our third anniversary serves as an inspirational reminder of the critical, lifesaving work that our colleagues in the law enforcement, public health and government sectors are doing each day,” P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade said. “We’re so proud of progress we’ve made in this fight against addiction, but it’s important to remember that there’s still more work to be done to reverse the trend of overdose deaths that have robbed communities and families of loved ones across America.”

P.A.A.R.I. honored several individuals and groups in multiple categories for their contributions to the effort to combating the opioid crisis, including Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, who addressed the attendees via video message.

Law Enforcement Leadership

  • Chief Peter Volkmann — Chatham Police Department (New York)
  • Commissioner William B. Evans and Deputy Superintendent Winifred Cotter — Boston Police Department
  • Chief Tom Bashore — Nashville Police Department (North Carolina)
  • Chief Joseph Cordeiro — New Bedford Police Department
  • Chief Robbie Moulton — Scarborough Police Department (Maine)
  • Sheriff Kevin Coppinger, Gary Barrett, Community Relations Coordinator, and the entire Detox Unit team — Essex County Sheriff’s Department

Government Leadership 

  • Rep. Joe Kennedy III
  • Jim Cormier — New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
  • Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken
  • Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders

Advocacy and Community Leadership 

  •  Marty Ginivan and Christine Bobek — Grace Center
  • Suzanne Graves — Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation, Beverly Hospital
  • Sarah Cloud — Beth Isreal Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth
  • Dr. Sarah Wakeman — Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Emily Haber — Massachusetts Service Alliance

Stephenie Jesi Memorial Scholarship

  • Courtney Favazza
  • Ieisha Clements
  • Matthew Foley

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*Media Advisory* P.A.A.R.I. to Host Third Anniversary Celebration and Awards Ceremony

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P.A.A.R.I.
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
Frederick Ryan, Co-Chairman
186 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 25, 2018

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

*Media Advisory*

P.A.A.R.I. to Host Third Anniversary Celebration and Awards Ceremony

GLOUCESTER — The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is pleased to announce it will welcome law enforcement leaders from across the country to celebrate its third anniversary and honor those who are helping in the fight against opioid addiction.

Tickets are required to attend, and anyone who would like to purchase a ticket or support the event may do so by clicking here. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

WHEN: 

Wednesday, June 27 from 6-9 p.m.

WHERE: 

Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 Rogers St., Gloucester

WHAT: 

The public is invited to help celebrate as P.A.A.R.I. marks three years working to fight the opioid epidemic through its partnerships with more than 400 law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S.

P.A.A.R.I. was founded in 2015 in concert with the groundbreaking Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, which reinvented the way law enforcement agencies confront addiction in their own communities by treating it as a treatable disease rather than a crime.

With its network of 408 law enforcement partners, P.A.A.R.I. is working toward a collective vision where non-arrest diversion programs become a standard policing practice across the country. This movement is reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, reducing stigma and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities.

Since it began on June 1, 2015, the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative has directed more than 600 people into treatment and served as the foundation for a pathway to recovery for hundreds more nationwide.

“Our law enforcement partners have been a tremendous asset in creating access to treatment, and their continued support is what will ultimately help turn the tide in our national struggle against addiction,” Co-Founder and Co-Chairman John Rosenthal said. “This celebration is an opportunity for us to recognize the fantastic work of so many people who have made this movement possible.”

“These first three years have been inspirational, and I’m so proud of the work that our partners have done to change the conversation around addiction,” Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade said. “What started with a single department opening its doors has evolved into a phenomenon that has earned the buy-in of hundreds of agencies from all over our country and gotten the attention of key policymakers at all levels of government.”

“Our diverse group of partners, which includes agencies large and small, shows that this renewed approach is what it’s going to take to overcome the opioid crisis,” Co-Chairman and Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said. “I want to thank the law enforcement and community leaders for their continued support and their recognition of the fact that this is a public health issue that we cannot do away with simply by arresting and incarcerating those who need our help.”

P.A.A.R.I. will honor several individuals and groups in multiple categories for their contributions to the effort to combating the opioid crisis. Those confirmed to attend are marked by an asterisk.

Law Enforcement Leadership

  • Chief Peter Volkman — Chatham Police Department (New York)*
  • Commissioner William B. Evans and Deputy Superintendent Winifred Cotter — Boston Police Department
  • Chief Tom Bashore — Nashville Police Department (North Carolina)
  • Chief Joseph Cordeiro — New Bedford Police Department*
  • Chief Robbie Moulton — Scarborough Police Department (Maine)
  • Sheriff Kevin Coppinger, Gary Barrett, Community Relations Coordinator, and the entire Detox Unit team — Essex County Sheriff’s Department*

Government Leadership 

  • Rep. Joe Kennedy III
  • Jim Cormier — New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area*
  • Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken*
  • Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders*

Advocacy and Community Leadership 

  •  Marty Ginivan and Christine Bobeck — Grace Center*
  • Suzanne Graves — Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation, Beverly Hospital*
  • Sarah Cloud — Beth Isreal Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth*
  • Dr. Sarah Wakeman — Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Emily Haber — Massachusetts Service Alliance

Stephenie Jesi Memorial Scholarship

  • Courtney Favazza*
  • Ieisha Clements*
  • Matthew Foley*

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Over 200 Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Trump Administration Not to Cut Drug Control Program Funding

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P.A.A.R.I.
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
Frederick Ryan, Co-Chairman
186 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Over 200 Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Trump Administration Not to Cut Drug Control Program Funding

P.A.A.R.I. Letter Opposes White House Proposal to Cut ONDCP Budget by 95 Percent

GLOUCESTER — Co-Founder and Co-Chairman John Rosenthal, Co-Chairman Frederick Ryan and Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade announce that the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) sent a letter to White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway urging the Trump administration not to cut the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s budget.

For the second time in a year, President Trump has proposed slashing the ONDCP budget almost entirely, and P.A.A.R.I. leaders and law enforcement members are instead encouraging the president to increase funding for the critical programs and initiatives funded by ONDCP. 

Police officers from cities, towns and rural counties are literally on the front lines of this epidemic. We have the unique duty of aiding the victims in the search for quality treatment and recovery while pursuing the dealers and traffickers who profit from misery and death,” the letter reads in part. “No other group of professionals bears this responsibility, and perhaps no organization is as supportive of our efforts as the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs.

Opioid overdoses kill 174 Americans every day. The ONDCP is a critical resource upon which law enforcement relies to counter this growing epidemic, which poses a consistent and urgent threat to public health and quality of life nationwide. P.A.A.R.I. warns that the proposed 95 percent cut to ONDCP funding would be a misguided and dangerous move that would carry deadly consequences.

“It was just three months ago that I stood on the stage alongside President Trump as he publicly declared that the opioid epidemic was a top priority for the White House, and my law enforcement colleagues and I sincerely hoped that this declaration would represent a shift in the effort to save lives rather than serve as a purely symbolic gesture,” Co-Chairman and Arlington Police Chief Ryan said. “The proposed cuts to ONDCP’s funding would represent a devastating setback to longstanding efforts to fight the spread of substance abuse, and I strongly urge the administration to reconsider this move.”

ONDCP has been a strong supporter of the work P.A.A.R.I. and its hundreds of law enforcement partners are doing to save lives by diverting those struggling with substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system and into treatment and recovery. 

“Opioids pose a deadly threat to Americans no matter where they live, no matter their socioeconomic background and no matter their political affiliation,” Rosenthal said. “The White House should be directing more resources to ONDCP so that the progress we have made with our partners is not lost along with the lives of potentially thousands more Americans.”

The letter — signed by more than 200 law enforcement leaders from 28 states — notes that ONDCP’s backing of more widespread distribution of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, as well as HIDTA’s sounding of the alarm on fentanyl and carfentanyl, has resulted in countless lives being saved. 

The president has proposed shifting nearly all of ONDCP’s $340 million budget to the Department of Justice, effectively stripping it of its mission to enhance the efforts of local law enforcement to stop the flow of drugs into the country while connecting those caught in the grips of addiction with the resources they need to set out on the path to recovery.

Click here to read the letter.

About P.A.A.R.I.:

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.

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Ipswich Police Department Partners With P.A.A.R.I. and Lutz Foundation to Add Part-Time Recovery Coach

Ipswich Police Department
Paul A. Nikas, Chief of Police
15 Elm St.
Ipswich, MA 01938

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Ipswich Police Department Partners With P.A.A.R.I. and Lutz Foundation to Add Part-Time Recovery Coach

Left to right: Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas and part-time Recovery Coach Steve Lesnikoski (Photo Courtesy of P.A.A.R.I.)

IPSWICH — Chief Paul A. Nikas is pleased to announce that the Ipswich Police Department has received a grant from the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) through the Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation to add a part-time recovery coach to the department’s ranks.

Steve Lesnikoski was the first person to enroll in the Gloucester Police’s groundbreaking ANGEL Program, which directs those battling addiction into treatment rather than the criminal justice system. He will spend each Monday in Ipswich conducting outreach to families and individuals dealing with addiction. He joined the Ipswich Police Department in his new role on Dec. 4.

Lesnikoski will help enhance the Ipswich Police Department’s capacity to assist those suffering from substance use disorders by connecting them to treatment and recovery services that divert them from the criminal justice system. His role with Ipswich Police comes in addition to the work he’s done with other law enforcement agencies in Essex County, where he’s focused on preventing overdose deaths and providing life-saving resources to community members with substance use disorders.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to further connect with the people in our community who need our help the most, and I’m excited about Steve joining us and serving as a huge resource for those who are working to overcome their addiction,” Chief Nikas said. “We’re grateful for the support of P.A.A.R.I. and the Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation, and we look forward to the positive impact this program will have in town.”

P.A.A.R.I. partnered with the Lutz Foundation in July on a project meant to expand its outreach and impact in Essex County, placing Lesnikoski with multiple law enforcement agencies, now including the Ipswich Police Department. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2012 to 2014, an average of 426 people died annually in Essex County due to drug overdoses, with projections for continuing increases indicated in 2015 and 2016. Essex County has a drug overdose mortality rate of two deaths per 10,000 residents, which is higher than both state and national averages.

“Steve Lesnikoski is living proof of the power that police-based addiction and recovery programs have to springboard people into long-term recovery and alter the course of their lives,” said P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade. “Steve has intimate knowledge of the challenges facing those battling addiction, and he will provide critical guidance to those in the Ipswich community that need support.”

The new partnership with P.A.A.R.I. and the Lutz Foundation bolsters the department’s existing efforts to fight opioid addiction, which include running Operation HOPE (Heroin Opiate Prevention Effort), its active participation in Ipswich AWARE and its ongoing DARE program in Ipswich schools.

About P.A.A.R.I.:

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 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.

 

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