Message from Mayor Kleem
The Berea Division of Police is working with the Olmsted Township Police Department to offer help to drug addicts.
PAARI – The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative – was begun by the police chief of Gloucester, Mass., to encourage drug addicts to seek recovery. Berea Police Chief Joe Grecol and Olmsted Township Police Chief Matt Vanyo are collaborating to bring the program here. Berea and Olmsted Township would be the first two communities in Cuyahoga County to offer PAARI.
Under the innovative program, addicts who sincerely are ready to break their habits can come to the police station and ask for help. The addicts will not be arrested or charged but will be put in touch with a local PAARI representative, who will evaluate the addicts. If accepted into the program, the addicts will be taken to a recovery and rehabilitation facility for a 28-day treatment program.
The Berea and Olmsted Township program will be called Safe Passages partnering with PAARI. It will be unveiled during a special program 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 at the German Cultural Center, 7370 Columbia Road, Olmsted Township.
Safe Passages does not mean the police station is a sanctuary nor does it offer amnesty. All outstanding warrants must be addressed before an addict is accepted into the program.
Safe Passages will not have a cost for the City of Berea. But it is the right thing to do. Arresting, convicting and incarcerating addicts is not working. The number of heroin addictions is exploding. We have to try something new. It is our hope that treating addicts who have reached rock bottom will eventually lead them to be productive members of our community.
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