Tuesday, November 21, 2017

CLEAR Program Expands to 6 More Police Departments

CLEAR Program Expands to 6 More Police Departments - read the press release here: https://goo.gl/Nqy9th


6 more police forces get C.L.E.A.R. in opioid fight

By  New Jersey Herald
Posted: Nov. 10, 2017 12:15 am
An additional six police departments in Sussex County have agreed to become a part of a community-focused effort in combating the local drug epidemic through recovery.
The Sussex County Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery, or C.L.E.A.R., program announced that police departments in Andover Township, Byram, Hardyston, Franklin, Sparta and Vernon would begin accepting participants. The six departments join Newton in allowing anyone in possession of an illegal substance or paraphernalia to turn it over without fear of arrest or prosecution. Law enforcement also will assist individuals or family members seeking substance abuse treatment to connect them with C.L.E.A.R.'s recovery coaches.
C.L.E.A.R. is a coalition of like-minded agencies in Sussex County -- which includes the Center for Prevention and Counseling, the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office, Newton Medical Center, the Sussex County Police Chiefs' Association and the seven aforementioned police departments -- that are committed to improving prevention, education, outreach and enforcement in the fight to save lives afflicted by drug addiction.
"The expansion of the C.L.E.A.R. program into the additional six police departments in Sussex County is a momentous occasion," said Sussex County Prosecutor Francis Koch. "This expansion will now make the incredibly successful C.L.E.A.R. program even more accessible to all residents in Sussex County."
Training was provided in September to law enforcement officers from each of the departments new to the C.L.E.A.R. program. Through October, policies and procedures were implemented in each department to make them ready to perform intake screening for C.L.E.A.R. program participants.
Vernon Police Chief Randy Mills said two recent overdose deaths in the community highlight the need for action.
"The Vernon Police Department is excited to start the C.L.E.A.R. program in an attempt to help our community," Mills said. "These unnecessary deaths can be prevented, and we look forward to being part of the solution."
Vernon, and Hardyston joined the program on Monday, Nov. 6. Sparta began its participation on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto said the drug epidemic has affected all areas of our society.
"If we can provide assistance in offering help through the Center for Prevention and Counseling to those that are seeking help, Sparta officers will provide this support," he said. "I am more than happy to work with (Newton Police) Chief (Michael) Richards and other chiefs in this county to try make a difference for those struggling with addiction, their families and our community."
Hardyston Police Chief Bret Alemy said "identification of addiction and offering a pathway to hope where there was literally none, serves not only the addict, but our entire community by way of reduced crime, lower overall healthcare costs and of course, personal health and productivity."
"Our department is proud to join with other law enforcement within our county as we continue to bridge the gap between addiction and recovery through collaborative efforts within both the law enforcement and the healthcare communities," Alemy said.
Andover Township and Byram will officially begin their participation in the C.L.E.A.R. program Nov. 13.
"The Andover Township Police Department continues to support efforts to help community members combat substance use disorders by providing an avenue for assistance," said Chief Eric Danielson. "We are pleased to be a part of a solution to a growing epidemic and feel the partnerships developed have given us an opportunity to better serve our community and those around us."
Since beginning in Newton in July 2016, 54 individuals struggling with a substance use disorder have been helped, connected to peer recovery coaches, accessed treatment and are working toward or are in recovery. Numerous families have been assisted with connection to family recovery coaches, helping to steer their loved ones into recovery.
"The Byram Township Police Department is pleased that we're able to unite with the other police departments in the county to provide this service to our residents," said Chief Peter Zabita. "Every effort must be made by our government agencies and our residents to combat the current opioid crisis in our communities."
Franklin Borough police will join the C.L.E.A.R. program on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Chief Eugene McInerney said the department is "enthusiastically committed to the success of the C.L.E.A.R. program, as it is a phenomenal tool in step with the Franklin Borough Police Department's commitment to preserving the quality of life in the community we serve."
"Now more than ever, education and assistance need to be provided to those suffering from addiction as well as their families," he said. "The opioid crisis, recently nationally recognized as one of the greatest threats to our society and our nation's youth, needs to be aggressively addressed."
Koch said that although C.L.E.A.R. "alone will not solve the epidemic, it is one of the essential building blocks for a community to address it."
The C.L.E.A.R. program is a vital tool in our fight against the opioid epidemic," Koch said. "I am excited to be a partner in this program and I look forward to working with all of the police departments and the community to encourage individuals with substance use disorders to come in and help them find their road to recovery."
Individuals seeking to turn in illegal substances or paraphernalia can do so at any of the participating police depart-ments Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Sussex County has 11 municipal police departments while 13 municipalities are covered by the New Jersey State Police. In addition to the departments that have joined the C.L.E.A.R. program, Hopatcong, Hamburg, Ogdensburg and Stanhope each also have their own police departments.
For more information call: 1-844-SC-CLEAR, or go online: clearprogram.org.
David Danzis can also be contacted on Facebook: ddanzisNJH, on Twitter: @ddanzisNJH, or by phone: 973-383-1274.