Community Connections in the News

Gowanda, N.Y. Police Department Joins P.A.A.R.I., Launches Addiction Recovery Initiative

Gowanda Police Department
Officer-in-Charge Dennis Feldmann
27 E Main St.,
Gowanda, NY 14070

Gowanda, N.Y. Police Department Joins P.A.A.R.I., Launches Addiction Recovery Initiative

Gowanda Area Community Connections Places Five Participants Since Dec. 1

GOWANDA- The Village of Gowanda is pleased to announce that the Gowanda Police Department has partnered with The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) to launch their addiction outreach and recovery program, the Gowanda Area Community Connections in partnership with Seneca Strong and the City of Salamanca, NY.

The Gowanda Police Department implemented their program in 2016 and are following the Arlington Outreach Initiative model. As part of the initiative, clinicians reach out to known addicts in the community and support them in developing a plan to facilitate a long-term recovery process while directing them and their loved ones to related services.

Since implementation, Gowanda Police have placed five participants into treatment.

The program is coordinated through a joint effort between the Gowanda Police Department, Zoar Valley Clinic, Lake Shore Behavioral Health, Seneca Strong and the Healthy Community Alliance. Additionally, the Salamanca Police Department in Cattaraugus County, N.Y. is also working with Gowanda Police to assist participants. Salamanca Police are in the process of creating a similar program for their residents.

In Gowanda, the number of overdoses from 2014 to 2015 has greatly increased. While police have had success identifying, investigating, and prosecuting people responsible for the distribution of heroin, at the end of an investigation, officers are often left with a list of known users. With little resources available, police have been unable to prevent addicts from moving onto other suppliers, and in some cases, overdosing and dying.

Through the Gowanda Area Community Connections Training and Support program, police and substance abuse intervention experts will host a series of community based meetings aimed at creating a supportive, non-judgmental environment for those struggling with the disease of addiction.

Additionally, the Gowanda Area Community Connections will work to:

    • Reduce the stigma associated with addiction, the number of opiate overdoses in the community and the amount of incidents where doctors over prescribe opiates to patients
    • Expand access to Nasal Naloxone (Narcan) to train police, addicts and their loved ones on how to administer dosages to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.
    • Add to the number of addiction treatment options and resources (inpatient and outpatient) for residents
    • Increase medication/pharmaceutical assisted treatment for opiate addiction
    • Empower and motivate families, by providing data-driven strategies aimed at problem solving, toward successful recoveries
    • Offer more community prescription drug take back days and mobilize drug take back assets to senior/public housing neighborhoods.

Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal, founders of P.A.A.R.I., are pleased to welcome the Gowanda Police Department to P.A.A.R.I. and will work with the department to further their initiative. Both recognize that no matter the size of the community, there are residents struggling with addiction that are in need of assistance. They commend Gowanda Police Department for taking the necessary steps forward to change lives for the better.

About P.A.A.R.I.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) was started to support local police departments as they work with opioid addicts. Rather than arrest our way out of the problem of drug addiction, P.A.A.R.I. committed police departments:

  • Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
  • Help distribute life saving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
  • Connect addicts with treatment programs and facilities
  • Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic