By: ARIA Admin
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Police Chief’s Facebook Post Gives Hope to Heroin Addicts
The police chief of Gloucester, Massachusetts, has made big changes in his department when it comes to dealing with drug addicts. The chief, Leonard Campanello, had seen too many people die from heroin overdose in his time with the department, and he wanted to do something about it.
Campanello decided to provide help to addicts rather than prosecution. His post about it on social media created a huge stir in his state and surrounding areas. “Since January of this year, we have responded to dozens of opiate-related overdoses and, unfortunately, the City has seen 4 deaths in this time that are heroin related. 4 deaths is 4 too many,” Campanello said. “If you are a user of opiates or heroin, let us help you. We know you do not want this addiction. We have resources here in the City that can and will make a difference in your life. Do not become a statistic.”
Since that statement in March of this year, Gloucester police have changed their focus from trying to put addicts in jail for drug crimes to finding help for those that really want to overcome this powerful disease.
“Any addict who walks into the police station with the remainder of their drug equipment (needles, etc) or drugs and asks for help with NOT be charged,” Campanello said. “Instead, we will walk them through the system toward detox and recovery. We will assign them an “angel” who will be their guide through the process. Not in hours or days, but on the spot.”
So far, 109 addicts have found help at the Gloucester police station, and the story has grabbed the attention of police departments and communities across the country. Read more about the story here.