The Douglas Police Department, in conjunction with the Cochise Addiction and Recovery Partnership (CARP), has been selected to receive an AmeriCorps VISTA service member who will assist to expand the capacity and capabilities of the program. The position will be funded by a grant from the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.).
CARP is a collaboration of community health, law enforcement, and government agencies who have the common goal of tackling the opioids and drugs crisis in Cochise County. Its mission is to provide access and support for the treatment and recovery of addiction, and to improve the health and safety of communities throughout the region. Since its foundation in 2017, the group has continued to grow and to successfully help those in need.
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. P.A.A.R.I. has received a grant for $412,749 from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to expand the program through AmeriCorps VISTA, bringing P.A.A.R.I.’s National Recovery Corps team to a total of 42 national service members.
The Douglas Police Department is looking for a motivated individual to assist with taking CARP’s efforts to the next level. The VISTA’s time will be split between Douglas and Bisbee, where CARP’s groundbreaking work to combat addiction was piloted. This position will help to identify solutions to gaps in the referral to treatment and expand the partnership throughout each of the communities within Cochise County. It is hoped the VISTA position will be filled by July.
CARP looked to the experiences of P.A.A.R.I. and tailored the approach to fit within the resources that are available locally, through collaboration with the various health and government agencies throughout Cochise County. The premise behind the program is for law enforcement to approach the subject of addiction as a health issue and refer willing users into treatment, rather than arresting them for possession or use.
“P.A.A.R.I.’s mission is to provide resources to help law enforcement agencies combat the opioid epidemic and this innovative program will add significant capacity to our law enforcement partners and utilize service as a solution to address critical community needs,” said P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter. “We are thrilled that Douglas Police Department and Cochise County agencies have signed on as a partner for the inaugural year of the national program.”
Douglas Police Chief Kraig Fullen said, “The Douglas Police Department and its partner agencies in the Cochise Addiction Recovery Partnership are delighted to be chosen as a host site for the P.A.A.R.I. National Recovery Corps program. The key to a successful, non-arrest pathway to treatment and recovery is partnerships and collaboration. This approach has already proved to be a winning formula in rural Cochise County, and our relationship with P.A.A.R.I. AmeriCorps will ensure this program continues to grow and help those who need assistance in leading a healthier and productive lifestyle.”
Added Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program, “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. I’m proud that through this new partnership with P.A.A.R.I. and Cochise County agencies, AmeriCorps VISTA members can be a part of the solution.”
More information about the program and position can be found here: https://paariusa.org/recoverycorps/
Those interested in applying can do so here: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=89408&fromSearch=true