National service members to work with Michigan police departments to address opioid epidemic

17 national service members to be based in 9 states

DETROIT - John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chairman of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), and Executive Director Allie Hunter are pleased to announce the national expansion of P.A.A.R.I.’s first-of-its-kind project in partnership with law enforcement agencies and AmeriCorps to expand non-arrest access to treatment and recovery.

P.A.A.R.I. has received a $412,749 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to launch a national expansion of its pioneering pilot program to embed AmeriCorps members in police departments to address the opioid epidemic. This grant will fund 17 full-time members to serve within police departments in 9 states to help build, strengthen and sustain police-led programs to reduce and prevent overdose deaths and help more people with opioid use disorder get into treatment and recovery. The program is set to launch next month.

“P.A.A.R.I.’s mission is to provide resources to help law enforcement agencies combat the opioid epidemic, and this revolutionary program will add significant capacity to our partners and utilize service as a solution to address critical community needs,” said Hunter. “We have seen tremendous results locally and are thrilled to announce the national expansion of our Recovery Corps program.”

In the inaugural year of this new grant from CNCS and AmeriCorps VISTA, P.A.A.R.I has selected the following law enforcement sites to host Recovery Corps members.

•    Douglas Police Department and Cochise County Agencies (Arizona)
•    Longmont Department of Public Safety (Colorado)
•    Lake County Opioid Initiative / Mundelein Police Department (Illinois)
•    Scarborough Police Department (Maine)
•    Holyoke Police Department (Massachusetts)
•    New Bedford Police Department (Massachusetts)
•    Essex County Sheriff’s Department (Massachusetts)
•    Hope Not Handcuffs / Saginaw City Police Department (Michigan)
•    Hope Not Handcuffs / Taylor Police Department (Michigan)
•    Hope Not Handcuffs / Fraser Police Department (Michigan)
•    Rhode Island State Police HOPE Initiative (Rhode Island)
•    Everett Police Department (Washington)
•    Greenfield Police Department (Wisconsin)

In addition to the 14 positions that will be based in the awarded law enforcement host sites, two VISTAs will be based in P.A.A.R.I’s office in Plymouth, Massachusetts to focus on resource development and expanding its scale/reach through the recruitment and training of new law enforcement partners. An additional VISTA Leader will be based in P.A.A.R.I’s office in Boston to focus on supporting the P.A.A.R.I. National Recovery Corps members.

P.A.A.R.I is now accepting applications for all 17 full-time VISTA service opportunities, with anticipated start dates June through September 2019. Individuals with lived experience with addiction, including those who are personally in recovery, are encouraged to apply. Details, including a link to apply for each position, can be found at

Funded through the Massachusetts Service Alliance and AmeriCorps State and National Program, P.A.A.R.I. is currently operating an award-winning program in Massachusetts that embeds AmeriCorps members directly in police departments as recovery coaches and program coordinators. Since the program launched in October 2017, the team of 25 AmeriCorps members has provided vital information and support to 6,771 unique individuals and provided a referral to treatment to an additional 790 unique individuals.

Through the expansion grant with AmeriCorps VISTA, P.A.A.R.I.’s National Recovery Corps will grow to a total of 42 national service members.

“The opioid epidemic has left an indelible scar in communities across America. Addressing this crisis will take an all-hands-on-deck effort and everyone has a role to play,” said Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program. “I’m proud that through this new partnership with P.A.A.R.I., AmeriCorps VISTA members can be a part of the solution.”

“We are very proud and pleased to partner with P.A.A.R.I. on their groundbreaking AmeriCorps program,” said Emily Haber, Massachusetts Service Alliance CEO. “We know this program saves lives every day in the Commonwealth and with the addition of 17 AmeriCorps VISTA members P.A.A.R.I. will be able to bring this critical program to police departments across the country.”

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