Mass Environmental Police Photo Left to Right: Sgt. Peter Gamache, Major Patrick Moran, Allie Hunter McDade, Lt. Colonel Anthony Abdal-Khabir. (Courtesy Photo)
BOSTON — Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade is pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Environmental Police will launch a new initiative to equip officers with life-saving naloxone, in partnership with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative.
P.A.A.R.I and the Massachusetts Environmental Police have partnered to roll out an initiative that will equip officers with naloxone and connect individuals with substance use disorders to local treatment and support services.
Through support from Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation and other partners, P.A.A.R.I. has donated 100 two-dose kits of 4mg nasal naloxone, also known as NARCAN, to equip the entire Massachusetts Environmental Police force with the opioid overdose reversal medication. P.A.A.R.I. is also partnering with NarCase to empower officers to carry the life-saving medication on their duty belts and therefore have immediate on-the-scene access in the event of an opioid overdose. This donation will also allow the Thomas Paine and Jessie patrol boats to carry naloxone on board in their first aid kits.
As part of the new initiative, Massachusetts Environmental Police officers will also distribute informational materials and assist in establishing connections at the local level, such as PAARI’s team of 25 AmeriCorps Recovery Coaches located across the Commonwealth, who can provide follow up to individuals with substance use disorders who have been revived and encountered by Massachusetts Environmental Police.
The program will launch on January 31, 2019, when Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers begin training on overdose awareness and nasal naloxone administration. NARCAN kits and carrying holsters will be distributed to each officer during the training.
“We are pleased to be the first Conservation Law Enforcement agency in the nation to be associated with P.A.A.R.I and other partner law enforcement agencies,” Major Patrick Moran said. “The opioid crisis has no boundaries and all aspects of public safety are impacted one way or another.
Governor Baker’s administration’s incredible effort to address the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts is an inspiration to the Massachusetts Environmental Police; it provided the impetus to be a proactive participant and assist those efforts. We reached out to P.A.A.R.I Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade and quickly connected the dots.” Major Moran added, “With the amount of overdoses statewide we want to be able to do our part; for the communities that we patrol, address this epidemic and help point people in the right direction to get the treatment they need, when they need it. It’s the right thing to do.”
Allie Hunter McDade said, “The Massachusetts Environmental Police has shown a deep commitment to saving lives in the wake of the growing opioid epidemic. Like PAARI, they also have a special relationship with coastal and fishing communities.
We are thrilled to provide this donation of NARCAN and work hand-in-hand to make life-saving recovery resources more accessible.” Hunter McDade added, “We hope this program will inspire other state and conservation law enforcement agencies to join our efforts.”
“The Massachusetts Environmental Police, and first responders across the Commonwealth, are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and this proactive partnership will ensure our officers have the necessary tools to save lives and connect people with important recovery resources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Working with P.A.A.R.I to provide opioid training and Naloxone to Environmental Police officers is an important next step in the Baker-Polito Administration’s continued efforts to protect residents from this terrible and wide-reaching epidemic.”
P.A.A.R.I Co-Founder and Chairman John Rosenthal said, “We’re so proud to partner with the Massachusetts Environmental Police and continue to work closely with the Baker administration to expand our life-saving law enforcement based access to treatment in the Commonwealth.
Our state and our 100 compassionate law enforcement partners here — and 480 nationwide — are leading the nation in effectively responding to the opioid epidemic and the Massachusetts Environmental Police are uniquely positioned to save lives, especially in remote areas across the Commonwealth.”
The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery.
Founded alongside the groundbreaking Gloucester Police Department Angel Initiative in June 2015, P.A.A.R.I has been a driving force behind this rapidly expanding community policing movement. We provide technical assistance, coaching, grants, and other capacity-building resources to more than 480 police departments in 32 states.
We currently work with more than 100 law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts alone. P.A.A.R.I and our law enforcement partners are working towards a collective vision where non-arrest diversion programs become a standard policing practice across the country, thereby reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities. Our programs and partners have saved thousands of lives, changed police culture, and reshaped the national conversation about the opioid epidemic.
Learn more at http://www.paariusa.org.