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Lawrence Police Department Receives AmeriCorps Grant from P.A.A.R.I. to Bring on A Full-Time Program Coordinator and Part-Time Recovery Coach
For Immediate Release
October 5, 2018
Lawrence -- Chief Roy Vasque is pleased to announce that the Lawrence 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 hire a Full-Time Program Coordinator and Part-Time Recovery Coach to increase the department’s addiction and recovery program capacity.
This groundbreaking new statewide program, which launched last year, will combine the power of service with the power of the recovery community and the power of police-based referral programs, placing 25 AmeriCorps members in host police department sites across 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. Lawrence is one of 73 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 epidemic is not just a Lawrence problem or a Massachusetts problem it is national and even international problem and needs to be addressed as such. While law enforcement and the criminal justice system plays a role in addressing this issue, treatment and recovery programs are a far more effective way to address this unprecedented crisis. I am grateful to AmeriCorps and the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative for recognizing this need, and making this partnership a reality” said Chief Vasque
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 that will place 25 AmeriCorps members into service at host police department sites across Massachusetts, 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 Lawrence Police Department has signed on as a partner for the second year of the groundbreaking program.”
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 & 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 helped launch more than 400 law enforcement programs in 32 states, distributed 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone, and helped over 18,000 people into treatment.