"Our doors are open and will remain so until every addict who seeks help with their disease has treatment. You will always have a place to go as long as this police department stands."
That's the Police Chief of Gloucester, MA talking about their new drug program. They're calling it the Gloucester Initiative.
Here’s how Chief Len Campanello says it works:
"Gloucester will NOT charge any addict who comes to us for help.
We will fast track them in treatment and support their family. You will receive no judgment; just professionalism, respect and compassion."
The chief says "Addiction is a disease not a crime. We can’t arrest our way out of the epidemic.
The Gloucester Initiative has been in operation now for about a month.
And the Chief just posted this update on Facebook: "We have, as of midnight last night, taken in 55 persons with addiction.
All placed, all in treatment. We received great news today from our first intake...he is over 30 days clean and sober. We continue to encourage persons with addiction to come in and get help."
"The are no catches."
"We feel this program is the first day of the last recovery process a person with addiction will go through. We say this because we tell each of our program intakes that whatever they do after they walk into the police station, we will be there. Whether they are able to succeed or whether they relapse, we will be there. We will help again and again and again until they no longer want help."
"We know there will be setbacks for people."
"We don't care."
"You're still in recovery."
"We know some people will relapse."
"We will not judge you."
"You are still in recovery."
"Just as a cancer can go into remission only to appear later, we know addiction is hard to beat. 60 police officers, 40 Angels, and an entire community will have your back."
"You must do your part, but we will refuse to abandon you, forget you, or ignore you."
"You will receive the respect and dignity you deserve here, without judgment, without coercion, without charges."
"Your life has meaning."
"We are partnering with almost 30 treatment facilities who feel the same way."
"Not one person who has walked through our doors has been turned away."Chief Len Campanello
To find out more about the program here’s a link:http://gloucesterpd.com/tag/the-gloucester-initiative/
“A reporter asked one of my officers last night:
‘Do you see a common thread in all addicts?’
Without hesitation, the officer responded:
‘Absolutely..they're all human beings.’