The Police Chiefs of Plymouth County are pleased to announce that Plymouth County Outreach (PCO) has been awarded a federal grant that will significantly improve the services provided by the group in the coming years.
PCO will receive the $496,650 grant as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Program through the U.S. Department of Justice.
The award is among the first major federal funding grants to go toward substance use disorder treatment and recovery legislation, with the aim of addressing the ongoing opioid epidemic.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have been selected by the DOJ for the CARA grant and these funds will hopefully go a long way toward helping our Plymouth County residents who have been impacted by the opioid crisis and their families,” East Bridgewater Police Chief Scott Allen said.
The funds, which will be disbursed over the next two years, will allow PCO to hire two full-time staff members – a Project Coordinator and an Operations Supervisor. Those positions will allow PCO to offer better resources to individuals who are in need of treatment in a more streamlined and effective fashion.
“We will be looking to hire two full-time staff members who are dedicated to working with Plymouth County residents each and every day and can represent Plymouth County Outreach in all of our communities,” Middleborough Police Chief Joseph Perkins said.
In addition, the money will allow PCO to improve their Critical Incident Management System database, which tracks the number of overdoses in the region and allows for research and detailed analysis of the data collected to be studied by PCO’s treatment and healthcare partners.
“In receiving this grant from the federal government this shows, I believe, that our program and approach is on the forefront of combining the efforts of law enforcement, healthcare providers and treatment professionals in providing care to those opioid users in our communities who are in need,” Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri said.
In addition to Plymouth County Outreach, 11 other Massachusetts programs will receive a total of $8.4 million in grant funding:
Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office awarded $541,300,
Middlesex District Attorney’s Office awarded one grant of $360,000 and one of $500,000,
Boston Police Department awarded $305,362,
City of Holyoke Police Department awarded $448,025,
Massachusetts Administrative Office of the Trial Court awarded $1.5 million,
Advocates for Human Potential awarded $1.55 million,
City of Worcesterawarded $744,668, Franklin, County Sheriff’s Office awarded $1 million, LUK Crisis Center awarded $500,000.
“In 2017, over 2,000 Massachusetts residents died from drug overdoses,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lellling.
“The opioid crisis is an unprecedented public health crisis in the United States, but we are committed to the President’s plan to end the epidemic through prevention, treatment and enforcement.
“With over $8 million in federal grant funding, programs in Massachusetts can expand to serve larger populations, increase services, and support those who are most impacted by this deadly epidemic. I applaud the grant recipients for their commitment to serve their communities in this way.”
Plymouth County Outreach is an opioid prevention and recovery coalition made up of 27 municipal police departments in Plymouth County, along with the Bridgewater State University Police. The chiefs have partnered with the offices of District Attorney Timothy Cruz and Sheriff Joseph McDonald to take a multi-jurisdictional approach to dealing with the opioid epidemic.
Thursday, several member chiefs met to discuss the announcement of the grant.
“The work being done by our partners in law enforcement and the treatment and healthcare industries is vital to combating this deadly epidemic. In Plymouth County and everywhere else, one overdose death is one too many,” Hanover Police Chief Walter Sweeney said.
Next week, PCO will be honored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and will be receiving the Leadership in Community Policing Award on Oct. 9 in Orlando, Florida.
About Plymouth County Outreach: Plymouth County Outreach is a collaborative of police departments throughout Plymouth County led by the following chiefs: Abington Chief David Majenski, Bridgewater Chief Christopher Delmonte, Bridgewater State University Chief David Tillinghast, Brockton Chief John Crowley, Brockton Police Lt. Richard Linehan, Carver Chief Marc Duphily, Duxbury Chief Matthew Clancy,
East Bridgewater Chief Scott Allen, Halifax Chief Ted Broderick, Hanover Chief Walter Sweeney, Hanson Chief Michael Miksch, Hingham Chief Glenn Olsson, Hull Chief John Dunn, Kingston Chief Maurice Splaine, Lakeville Chief Frank Alvihiera, Marion Chief John Garcia, Marshfield Chief Phillip Tavares, Mattapoisett Chief Mary Lyons,
Middleboro Chief Joseph Perkins, Norwell Chief Ted Ross, Pembroke Chief Richard Wall, Plymouth Chief Michael Botieri, Plympton Chief Patrick Dillon, Rochester Chief Robert Small, Rockland Chief John Llewellyn, Scituate Chief Michael Stewart, Wareham Chief John Walcek, West Bridgewater Chief Victor Flaherty and Whitman Chief Scott D. Benton.